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THE   HISTORY 

OF 

RENVILLE  COUNTY 

MINNESOTA 


COMPILED  BV 

FRANKLYN  CURTISSAVEDGE 

Mernlipi   iif  ilie  Minnesota  Historical  Society,  editor  of  tlie  Histories  of  Winona, 

Wright,  Fillmore,  Freeborn,  Mower,   Dakota,  Rice,  Steele 

and  Goodhue  Comities,   Minnesota. 

ASSISTED  BV 

A  LARGE  CORPS  OF  LOCAL  CONTRIBUTORS 

UNDER   THE    DIRECTION    AND   SLPERVISION    OF 

HON'.  DARWIN  S,  HALL, 
HON.  DAVID  BENSON  and 
COL.  CHARLES  H.  HOPKINS, 

Renville   Conntv  Pioneer   Association    Committee.  ' 


ILLUSTRATED 


^^OT.UME  I 


CHICAGO 
H.  C.  COOPFR  JR.  &  CO. 

1916 


-0  ilEW  YORK 
PUBLIC  LIBRARY 


''•^ 


ASTOR,  LENOX  AND 

TILBEN   FOUNDATIONS 

R  lt25  L 


TO   THE 

STURDY  PIONEERS  OP  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

WHO,    AMID    INNUMERABLE    HARDSHIPS,    BLAZED    THE    WAY 

FOR   THE   PRESENT  GENERATIONS; 

AND    TO    THEIR 

DESCENDANTS    AND   SUCCESSORS 

THESE   VOLUMES    ARE    DEDICATED 
BY    ALL    WHO    HAVE    ASSISTED    IN    THEIR    CONSTRUCTION 


FOREWORD 

It  is  witli  a  feeling  of  eoiisiilerable  satisfaction  ami  ])leasiire 
that  the  publishers  pi-esent  this  history  for  the  api)i'oval  of  the 
people  of  Renville  county.  The  undertakinjr  lias  uot  been  an 
ea-sy  one,  the  difYieulties  have  .i)een  many,  so  nianv  indeed  that 
this  publication  would  not  have  been  possible  witlmiit  tiic  lil)ei'aL 
assistance  of  the  citizens  of  the  county.  The  chief  contributors 
and  editors  have  given  freely  of  their  time  and  talent;  business 
men,  ehui'ch  officers,  numieipal,  township,  fraternity,  association 
and  corporation  officials,  manufactui'ers,  professioiml  men  and 
bankers,  often  at  a  great  personal  sacrifice,  have  laid  aside  their 
regulai-  duties  to  tell  of  their  communities  and  special  interests; 
educators  have  written  of  theii-  schools,  and  nuui  and  women  in 
all  walks  of  life  have  given  the  information  at  their  command 
regarding  themselves,  their  families,  their  activities  and  their 
localities.  To  all  of  these  the  readers  of  this  work  owe  a  lasting- 
debt  of  gratitude,  and  to  eaeli  one  the  publishers  extend  their 
heartfelt  thanks. 

In  handling  the  vast  amount  of  material  gathered  for  this 
work,  it  has  been  the  aim  of  the  entire  staff  to  select  such  matter 
as  is  authentic,  reliable  and  interesting.  Doubtless  facts  havc 
been  includcfl  iliat  many  will  deem  of  little  moiiieiit,  but  these 
same  facts  to  otliei-s  may  be  of  the  deepest  import.  It  may  be 
also  that  some  facts  have  been  omitted  that  many  readei's  woidd 
like  to  .see  included.  To  such  readers  we  can  only  say  that  to 
publish  every  incident  in  the  life  of  the  connty  would  be  to  issue 
a  work  of  many  volumes,  ami  in  choosing  such  iriaterial  as  would 
come  within  the  limits  of  two  volumes  we  believe  that  the  matter 
.selected  is  that  which  will  prove  of  greatest  interest  to  th<^ 
greatest  numbiT  of  i-eaders,  and  also  that  which  is  most  worthy 
of  being  handed  down  to  future  generations,  who  in  these  vol- 
umes, in  far  distant  years,  may  read  of  their  large-souled.  i-ugged- 
bodied  ancestors  and  predecessors,  who  gave  up  theii'  homes  in 
older  communities  to  brave  the  i-igors  of  pioneer  endeavor. 

A  lew  omissions  may  be  due  to  some  of  the  people  of  the 
county,  themselves,  as  in  man\-  in.stances  repeated  requests  for 
information  have  met  with  no  response.  In  such  eases  infoi-mation 
gathered  from  other  sources,  while  authentic,  may  he  lacking  in 
copious  detail. 

Before  passing  hasty  judgment  on  apparent  errors,  one  should 
consider  carefully,  not  relying  on  tradition  or  memory.  In  many 
cases  we  have  found  that  persons'  memories  are  faulty  and  tradi- 

V 


vi  FOREWORD 

tion  erroncon.s  wlicu  measured  by  the  standard  of  official  records, 
even  in-  the  case  of  comparatively  recent  events,  while  in  many 
instances  families  are  under  the  impression  tliat  their  forebears 
arrived  in  the  county  long-  before  it  was  possible  for  them  to  do 
so.  We  have  endeavored  to  follow  a  uniform  system  of  the 
spelling  of  proper  names,  although  various  spellings  of  even  the 
most  familiar  names  appear  in  the  neM'spapers  and  records. 

The  biographies  have  been  gathered  with  care  from  those  most 
interested,  and  with  a  few  exceptions  liave  been  revised  and  eor- 
i-eeted  by  the  sub.ieet  of  the  biography  or  by  a  relative  or  friend. 
As  verification  of  all  the  details  is  impossible,  the  editors  disclaim 
responsibility  for  any  errors  therein,  the  opportunity  having  been 
given  the  various  families  for  making  any  corrections  desired. 
This,  however,  refers  to  the  dates,  incidents  and  sequence  of 
events;  all  personal  estimates  being  the  work  of  the  editors  and 
inserted  in  biographies  only  after  consultation  witli  tlie  various 
members  of  the  staff. 

All  available  authorities  have  been  consulted.  Among  such 
authorities  whose  works  have  been  used  and  in  many  cases 
quoted  copiously  are:  The  Histoi'y  of  the  ^linuesota  Valley 
(1882);  Minnesota  in  Thive  Centuries  (1908);  the  histories  of 
southern  and  central  ^Jinnesota  counties,  by  the  editor  of  the 
present  work;  the  various  publications  of  the  state  of  Minnesota 
and  the  United  States  government;  as  well  as  the  publications 
of  the  Iowa,  Wisconsin  and  ^linnesota  historical  societies,  and 
many  other  biographical,  historical,  and  arelueological  works  of 
reference.  The  files  of  the  newspapers  of  this  and  neighboring 
comities  have  been  carefully  perused,  as  have  the  county,  town- 
shii).  village,  city  and  church  records.  Hundi'etls  of  minute-book.^ 
liave  been  scanned  and  thousands  of  letters  and  original  manu- 
scripts carefully  examined.  To  all  those  M'ho  have  extended  us 
eoiu'tesies  during  our  search  of  these  records  we  extend  our 
thanks. 

In  gathering  material  from  so  many  sources,  a  paragi'ai)li  from 
a  newspajier  in  one  place,  a  few  lines  from  a  pamphlet  somewhere 
else,  a  half  a  chapter  from  some  other  work,  it  lias  not  been 
possible  in  every  case  to  give  credit  for  authorship.  It  should 
be  stated,  liowevei',  that  much  of  the  Indian  Massacre  material 
contained  in  this  work  is  from  tlie  i)en  of  Major  Return  I. 
lloleombe,  in  Minnesota  in  Three  Centuries,  edited  somewhat, 
liowever,  to  suit  the  present  purpose. 

The  board  of  revision  for  the  present  history  has  consisted 
of  Darwin  S.  Hall,  (Tiarles  H.  Hopkir.s,  David  Benson,  F.  L. 
Puffer,  M.  D.,  Judge  Richard  T.  Daly,  M.  J.  Dowling.  J.  R.  Landy, 
Judge  C.  N.  Matson.  Henry  Dunsmore,  W.  E.  Mori-is,  H.  W. 
Leindecker,  Edward  O'Connor,  Timothy  O'Connor.  J.  M.  George, 
O.  T.  Ramsland,  Frantz  G.  Nellermoe.  William  B.  Strom,  II.  W. 


FOREWORD  vii 

Shoemaker,  William  Wichmaii,  F.  A.  Schafer,  Amalia  M.  Bengtson, 
Ole  0.  Eiu'stvedt,  A.  T.  Elliiigboe,  John  G.  Wordes,  Nels  0.  Berge, 
John  Bakke,  Frank  II.  Hopkins,  Julius  L.  Jaeohs,  Peter  P.  Dustrud, 
John  1.  Johnson  and  many  others. 

These  people,  and  those  whose  names  appear  at  the  head  of 
the  various  eha]iters,  are  but  few  of  those  who  have  assisted  in 
making  this  woi-k  possible.  We  have  takrn  advantage  of  every 
available  soiiree  of  information  and  liaxc  lalH)i-cd  earnestly  to 
secure  eoneiseness  and  aeeuraey. 

That  tliis  liistoiy  is  faultless  we  do  not  pivsuiue;  it  is  pi'ohably 
not  within  tlic  jjowei'  of  man  to  arrange  a  woi'k  of  this  Icind 
witliout  iniiioi-  mistakes  of  one  sort  or  another;  tliat  it  ■will  meet 
with  the  unqualified  approval  of  all  we  dare  not  expect;  but  we 
trust  that  the  great  merit  of  the  work  will  ovei-balance  any  short- 
comings that  may  be  discovered;  and  our  fort}'  years  in  this 
line  of  endeavor  assures  us  that  the  histoi-y  will  increase  in  value 
year  after  year. 

Our  association  Avith  the  peoijle  of  Renville  county  has  been 
a  pleasant  one.  We  have  conscientiously  performed  our  task, 
and  in  placing  the  history  in  the  hands  of  those  whom  it  most 
concerns  our  hope  is  that  we  have  done  our  work  well. 

H.  C.  COOPER  JR.  &  CO. 


TABLE   OF   CONTENTS 

CHAPTER  I. 
NATURAL  PHENOMENA. 

PAGE 

Advantages  —  Situation  and  Area  —  Natural  Drainage  — 
Topograpliy  —  Altitudes  —  Soil  and  Timber  —  Arehean 
Rocks — Gneiss  and  Granite — Cretaceous  Beds — Glacial 
and  Moditied  Drift  —  Underground  Waters  —  Natural 
Resources 1 

CHAPTER   II. 

PREHISTORIC  INHABITANTS. 

Nature's  Paradise — The  Coming  of  Man — The  Eskimo — The 
Mountl  Builders — Purpose  of  the  Mounds — Life  and 
Habits  of  the  Mound  Builders — Location  of  the  Mounds 
— Excavations  and  Discoveries 20 

CHAPTER  HT. 
INDIAN  OCCUPANCY  AND  TREATIES. 

The   Dakotas — Life.   History   and  ILd^its — Wapetons — Sisse- 


tons — Treaties — Visit  to  Washington — Trealies  of  Prairie 
du  Chien  —  Doty  Treaty  —  Preliminaries  to  the  Pinal 
Session — Treaty  of  Traverse  Des  Sioux — Ramsey  Inves- 
tigation— Treaty  of  1858 — Agencies  and  Forts 


25 


CHAPTER  IV. 
CLAIM  OF  TITLE. 

Spain  —  France  —  England  —  United  States —  Louisiana  Pur- 
cha.se — Louisiana  District  of  Indiana — Tjouisiana  Terri- 
tory— IMissouri  Territory — Michigan  Territory — Wiscon- 
sin Territory — Iowa  Territory — Minnesota  Territory — 
Minnesota  State ". '. . .     52 

CH.APTEJi  V. 
EXPLORATIONS  AND  SURVEYS. 

Grosseilliers  and  Radisson — Hennepin  and  Duluth — LeSueur 
— Carver — Long.  Keating  and  Beltrami — Pembina  Ref- 
ugees— Catlin — Nicollet  and  Fremont — Allen — The  Mis- 
sionaries— The  Fur   Traders — Chronology — Surveys....      64 

ix 


X  CONTENTS 

CHAPTER  VI. 
JOSEPH  RENVILLE. 

PAGE 

Of  Freueh  and  Indian  Blood — Ediu-atcd  in  Canada — Starts 
Life  as  a  Courier — In  War  of  1812 — Serves  as  British 
Captain — In  the  Fur  Ti-ade — Brings  First  Seed  Corn  to 
Minnesota — Literary  Work — His  Triumphant  Deatli.  ...      82 

CHAPTER  VIL 

RIVER  NAVIGATION. 

Indian  Days  on  the  ilinnesota — ilaekinaw  Boats — Early  Voy- 
agers— Period  of  Steam  Navigation — Names  of  Boats 
Whicii  Reached  the  Upper  Stretches  of  the  River — 
Gradual  Reduction  in  River  Traftic 88 


CHAPTER  VIII. 
LAND  OFFICE  RECORDS. 

Original  Claimants  to  Renville  County  Land — Roll  of  Honor 
of  Those  Pioneers  Who  First  Cleared  the  Laud  and 
Erected  Cabins — Old  Settlers  Who  Braved  the  Rigors 
of  Pioneer  Endeavor 98 

CHAPTER  IX. 
CAUSES  OF  THE  OUTBREAK. 

Early  Friendship  —  Dissatisfaction  ■with  Treaties  —  Unjust 
Treatment  —  Inkpadoota  ilassaere  —  Officials  Demand 
that  Indians  Capture  Renegades — Little  Crow  to  the 
Rescue — Delayed  Payments  in  1862 — Indians  Starving — • 
Stupidity  of  Agent  —  Indians  Turbulent  —  Marsh  and 
Sheehan  to  the   Rescne 114 

CHAPTER  X. 
THE  SIOUX  OUTBREAK. 

Day  Dawns  Calm  and  Beautiful — Church  Services — The  Rice 
Creek  Renegades  Rob  a  Plen's  Nest — Quarrel  Among 
Braves  as  to  Their  Courage — Killing  Starts — Miscreants 
Tell  Their  Story  to  the  Chiefs— Little  Crow  Bows  to  the 
Inevitable  and  Reluctantly  Consents  to  Lead  His  Men  to 
Battle — Genei'al  ]\Iassaere  Begins — Weeks  of  Horror — 
Battles  and  Murders  —  Indians  Subdued  —  Little  Crow 
Killed— Peace    139 


CONTENTS  xi 

CHAPTER  XI. 
REDWOOD  FERRY  AMBUSCADE. 

PAGE 

Captain  ilaisli  and  His  Company  Start  on  Expedition — Fugi- 
tives Met — Ferry  Reached — Parley  with  Indian — Con- 
cealed Indians  Start  Firing — Attemjjt  to  S^vim  River — 
Captain  Marsh  Drowned  —  Casualties  —  Disastrous  Re- 
sult       155 

CHAPTER  XII. 
BATTLE  OF  BIRCH  COOLEY. 

Second  Expedition  Sets  Out — Encampment  at  Birch  Cooley 
— Attacked  hv  the  Indians — Heroic  Defense — Inaction 
of  Rescue  Part\ — Relief  by  Sibley 162 

CHAPTER  XIII. 
CAPTURED  BY  THE  INDIANS. 

Reminiscence  of  ^linnio  Bnoe  Carrigan — Pioneers  Arrive — • 
Dawn  of  Fatal  August  Morning — Parents  Killed — Sisters 
Murdered — In  the  Indian  Camp — ]\Ieeting  Playmates — ■ 
Scenes  of  Cruelty — Arrival  of  Soldiers — Release — Con- 
clusion     1 69 

CHAPTER  XIY. 
CAPTIVE  AMONG  THE  SIOUX. 

Experiences  of  jMrs.  N.  I).  "White,  of  Beaver  Falls — Unrest 
Among  the  Indians— News  of  the  Uprising — Desperate 
Flight. — Capture — Wedge  Killed — Henderson  Injured — 
Mrs.  Henderson  and  Children  Burned — Scenes  of  Horror 
— Eugene  White  Killed — Boy  of  Twelve  Escapes — Cap- 
tives Taken  to  Crow's  Village — Life  Among  the  Indians 
—  Removal  —  Incidents  of  the  March  —  Rescue  —  Camp 
Release — Scenes  of  Delight — Reunion — Retro.spection.  .  .    195 

CHAPTER  XV. 
EARLE'S  REMINISCENCES. 

Thrilling  Exijei'iences  of  a  Boy  During  the  Sioux  Massacre — 
Beaver  Creek  Settlement — Pioneer  Incidents — Trouble 
Brewing — Warned  by  Squaw — News  of  the  ^lassacre— 
Flight  for  Safety — Surrounded  by  Indians — Woman.  Chil- 
dren and  Fi-iend  Killed — Women.  Children  and  Wounded 
Abandoned  by  Whites — Brave  Boy  Gives  Life  for  His 
Father  —  Party  Separates  —  Rescue  —  Defense  of  Fort 
Ridgely — Cowardice  of  Some  of  the  Citizens — -Valor  of 
Others  —  Expedition  to  Bur,y  Bodies  —  Battle  of  Birch 
Cooley — Discharged 219 


xii  CONTENTS 

CHAPTER  XVI. 
COUNTY  GOVERNMENT. 

PAGE' 

Original  Counties — Wabashaw — Dakotali — Pierce  and  Nicol- 
let— Renville — Changes  iu  Boundaries — Lincoln — Elec- 
tion Legalized — County  Commissioners — County  Officers .   2-tC 

CI lAl'TKK  XV IL 
COUNTY  REPRESENTATION. 

Territoi'v  Organized — Council  Districts — Tcri-itorial  Legisla- 
ture— Renville  iu  the  Sixth,  Seventh  and  Tenth  Council 
Districts — Constitutional  Convention — State  Legislature 
— Members  Who  Have  Represented  Renville  County — 
Congressional  Repi-csentatiou 262 

CHAPTER  XVIH. 
CREATION  OF  TOWNSHIPS. 

Various  Acts  of  the  ("ounty  Coiniuissioners  by  Which  the 
Townships  of  Renville  Count>-  Have  Assumed  Their 
Present  Boundaries — Dates  of  First  Elections 277 

CHAPTER  XTX. 

PIONEER  EXPERIENCES. 

Stories  of  the  Tribulations  and  Joys  of  Frontier  Life  Told  by 
Men  Who  Underwent  the  Rigors  of  Early  Settlement — 
Blizzards  and  J)isasters — Long  Trips  in  Wintry  Weather 
— Sod  Houses  and  Ox  Teams — Grasshoppei-s  and  Indians  283 

CHAPTER  XX. 
BIOGRAPHICAL  REVIEW. 

Facts  in  the  Early  Career  and  Later  Success  of  People  Who 
Have  Helped  Make  Renville  County — Founders  and 
Pati'iots — Names  Which  Will  Live  Ijong  in  tlie  Jlemory 
of  Residents  of  Tliis  A'icinity — Stories  of  Well-Known 
Fanulies  Whicli  Have  Led  in  Public  Life H07 

CHAPTER  XX r. 
HORTICULTURE. 

Wild  Berries  and  Fruits — Early  Difficulty  with  Ti-ee  Raising 
—  Fruits  Best  Grown  Here  —  Apples  for  Swine  —  The 
Orchard  as  an  Asset — The  First  Nursery — Growth  of  the 
Lidustry  in  Renville  Comity  —  Present  Nurseries  —  The 
Old  Home  with  Fruits  and  Flowers — By  Hem-y  Duns- 
more    .323 


CONTENTS  xiii 

CHAPTER  XXll. 
PROGRESSIVE  ENTERPRISES. 

PAGE 

Urban  and  Hiiral  Telephone  Companies — Milling  Companies 
— Grain  Companies — Agricultural  Organizations — Fair 
Associations 533 

CHAPTER  XXI 1 1. 
EARLY  SETTLEMENT. 

Nearl)\-  Stations — First  Settlers  in  Ilenville  County — La  Croix 
at  Bireli  Cooley — Cairo — Beaver  Falls — Flora — Hawk 
Creek  —  Sacred  Heart  —  Flight  of  Settlers  —  Pioneers 
Return  and  iloderu  Era  Begins — An  Ancient  Atlas.  .  .  .    544 

CHAPTER  XXIV. 
VILLAGES  PLATTED  AND  INCORPORATED. 

Thirteen  Plats  Recorded^Snrveys,  Locations  and  Owners — 
Incorporated  Cities  and  Villages — Date  of  Incoi-poratioii 
— Village  Limits 5(Jl 

CHAPTER  XXV. 
POSTOFFICES. 

Beginning  of  Sy.stem-  -Early  Uttiees  in  Renville  County — 
History  of  Present  OfSccs — Postmastei-  ajid  Locations — 
Discontinued  Postoffiees — Forgotten  Names 568 

CHAPTER  XXVI. 
OFFICIAL  TRANSACTIONS. 

Story  of  the  Doings  of  the  County  Conniiissioners — The 
County  Seat  Fights  and  Successive  f!ourthouses — Names 
of  County  Officials  and  What  They  Did  While  in  Office- 
Estimate  of  Men  and  Motives  —  (Compiled  from  the 
Auditor's  Records 578 

CHAPTER  XXV II. 
FORT  RIDGELY. 

Establishment  —  Notable  Soldiers  Stationed  There  —  Volun- 
teer Troops  Arrive  —  Poorly  Located  —  Iuadec|uatt."  for 
Defense — Left  Almost  Deserted — Indian  Massacre  Starts 
— Marsh  Starts  for  Redwooil  Ferry — Disa.ster — Refugees 
Swarm  to  the  Fort — Sheehan  Returns — Renville  Rangers 
Return — Prepai'ations  for  Defense — Attack  of  August  20 
— Attack  of  August  22 — Thi-illing  Tales  of  Danger  and 
Daring— Indians  Withdraw— Relief— The  Story  of  De- 
fender Adam  Rieke — Cluii'les  II.  Hopkins  and  His  Woi'k 
Which  Has  Resulted  in  the  Fort  Ridgely  State  Park GIG 


xiv  CONTENTS 

CHAPTER  XXVIII. 
URBAN  SCHOOLS. 

PAGE 

Story  of  the  Growtli  of  tln'  Ediu/atioual  Systems  in  Kenville 
County's  City  and  Village  Schools — High  Seliool  Courses 
— Associated  Schools — Domestic  Science — Manual  Train- 
ing— Agriculture    654 


INDEX  TO  BIOGRAPHIES 


Abralianison,  Charlps  0 4(lSt 

Alirciis,  Henry 498 

Anistbauer,  Frank  H 369 

Anilorson,  Andrew  J 478 

Anderson,  August  B 415 

Anderson,  John 390 

Armstrong,  .lames  H 441 

Armstronu;,  Thomas  A 492 

Avery,  Delbert  G 385 

Barficneeht,  August  K 325 

Barfknecht,  Albert  W 326 

Barnard,  John oO± 

Baumann,  Sr.,  .Joseph 346 

Behriis,  Kdnnind 497 

Bengtson,  Amalia  M 461 

Beiigtson,   b'ev.  Andrew 461 

Borg.    Kdward 368 

Bergley,  Andrew   A 366 

Bertelsen.  ('hrist i!47 

Bethkc,   Herman 368 

Biebl,  George  A 351 

Bird,  Charles .' 498 

Blad,  August 377 

Bind,   Gustave 372 

Bla.l,   .lohn   M 371 

Bogonia,   Isaac 336 

Borden,    F.lwin   Roy 456 

Borden,  .lohn 456 

Bovum,  Ole  H 362 

Boyum,  Ole  J 508 

Brand.jord,   .Jonas 335 

Braiin,  Henrv  John 412 

BreeUe,   Carl'  0 488 

Bregel    Brothers 353 

Bregel,  Kdwanl 352 

Bregel,    William 352 

Brevig,   ().   L 498 

Briggs,   Alonzo  P 324 

Brown,    Anton 366 

Brown,  Kdward  H 515 

Brown,   .James 473 

Tirunner,  .John 355 

Bruss,  Herman  F 398 

Burggren,    I'erry    August 417 

Burgstahler,    August 396 

Bush,   .lolui   Itenry 414 

Butler.   Hen  jamin   Jason 484 

Butler,  Fdward  J 440 

Byhoffer,    Theodore 323 

Carrigan,  Kdward  .James 327 

Carrigan,   Harry 328 

Carrigan,  Hugh 327 

Carrigan,  .lohn  H 329 

Carrigan,    :Miihael 328 

Carrigan,  Owen 328 

Carrigan,   William  J 329 

Carson,    Hugh    J 348 

Carson,  .Jonathan  1 350 

Christiansen,    Anton 501 

Clobes,   Jlenrv 413 

Coffin,  Krwin  T 316 

Colbv,  Kdgar  T> 417 


Dahl,  Amund 448 

T)aun,  August  T 504 

Day,  Bert  J 494 

Bodge,    Lorrin 442 

J)unsmore,  Henry 459 

Brake,    James 476 

Fggert,   .lohn 31H 

Efstad,  John  H 369 

Enger,   Emil    A .■i5;i 

Erieson,  Elias  Martin 372 

Ericson,    Halvor 378 

Eriekson,    Andrew   S 507 

Eriekson.  John  W 410 

Farrar,   Albert   L 591 

Parrell,  .Jeremiah 498 

Farrenbaoh,  Jjoonard 507 

Feeter,  Joseph   H 469 

Fehr,    Henry 474 

Fenske,   August  E 350 

Finlev,    William 399 

Firle,'    Charles    K 348 

Fischer,    Fred    J 467 

Fiseher,    John 410 

Follingstad,  I.ouis  M 40:^ 

Forsvth,    George 510 

Foss',  John  E 513 

Fox,   Sr.,  Frederick   J 481 

Fri(d;son,  Christian  H 341 

Frickson,   Henrv 341 

Fritz,  Rev.  Emi'l  G 414 

Funk,  Robert   H 408 

Funk,  Samuel  H 407 

Garske,   Stephen 450 

Gerald,  Ivor 429 

Geray,  Anton 393 

Glesener,    Charles 381 

Grady,  B.  T 499 

Grasmon,  Holm  E 347 

Hable,  Chester  Henry 465 

Hable,  Lewis 465 

Haedt,  William 400 

Hage,  Peter  M 3.-iS 

Hager,  .Joseph 419 

Hager,  William  J 419 

Hagestad,  Mathias  O 365 

Hagevold,  Ole 365 

Hall,  Marv  Bunlop  McLaren 310 

Hall,  Dar'win   Scott 307 

Halverson,  Henry 510 

Hanschen,  Henrv  AV 475 

Harrier,  AVilliam  M 314 

JIaubrich,  Anthonv  V 387 

Heikka,  ^Michael.  .' 340 

Hertel,  Ernest 443 

Hinderman,  .Jacob  M 351 

Hippie.  Henrv 499 

Hodgdon,  Amos  E 322 

Hodgdon,  Elmer  Nathan 321 

Hodgilon,  Orrin 318 

Hogstad,  John  O .367 

Hoimyr,  Ole  P .337 

llnkanson,  George  E 419 


XV 


INDEX  TO  BIOGRAPHIES 


Holm,  Herman 338 

HoueU,  Theodore 470 

Houck,  Floyd 435 

Houffly,  Simon 497 

Isaacson,  John  Oscar 343 

Jaeolius,  Holger 497 

Jensen,  Frederick 512 

Jensen,  Hans 5l;i 

Jewell,  Leonard  II 3S2 

Johnson,  Alexander  .Michael....    37(i 

Johnson,  John  L 471 

Johnson.   Justin 429 

Johnson,  Martin 43(1 

Johnson.  William  A 3(53 

.lung.    August   K 447 

Kellv,  llathias  K 336 

Kellv,   Ole  Ti ; 334 

Keltgen,   William 388 

Kern,  .lohn  M 3.S7 

Kettner.  Rev.  Luilwig  Herman.  .    '■'•'• 

Kiecker.  Edmund 4^2 

Kiecker,  Otto  \V 514 

Kiecker,   Reinhard  T ' 41:1 

Kirwin.  Luke  H 509 

Knott,   Nicholas  T 401 

Korsmo,  Ole   A 339 

Kretsch.   Frank    A 514 

Kuester,  Henrv 518 

Kurth,  William :;.'!n 

Lambert,   Leon  E :i91 

Lanimers,   Charles :i<')l 

Lammers,  William  F 478 

Landsteiner,  Henry  J 354 

Larson,    Arthur 50.S 

Leasmau.    (ieorge    W 4211 

Lee,  Halvor  J. 499 

Lenander,   Peter 408 

Lenander,   Xels 4()3 

Lenz,  Ferdinand 517 

Logan,  Hugh  H :!89 

Lund.   August 459 

Lunil,   Christian   P 511 

Lunder.   OustaA-    0 421 

McCall,    .Veil   J :'.97 

McEwen,  Bowman  C 3,15 

JIcEwen,  Charles  Dwight 315 

McGowan,  James  H 39:i 

ilcGowan,  William  D 499 

McLaren,  Harlev  E 430 

Mahlke,  Gustav 482 

Manthei,   Julius 40S 

^farlowe,  Charles  B 355 

.Marquardt.    Charles 441 

Mathison,  .Martin 439 

Mattson,  Peter  A 499 

Maxwell.  James  Henry 44  t 

Mcgquier,   George   H 499 

Melwold,  Anton  E 364 

Menz,  John   E 488 

Mihm,  Henrv 483 

Miller,    .lohn 472 

Monson,  Nils  1 500 

IVFosher,  .iacoli 425 

jrun.lahl.   Hans  F 340 

^rurnan.  -fames  L 339 

:\Iusil,  Frank  .1 395 

Narvestad,  C.  0 499 

Neitzel,  C.  F 446 

Noitzel,  Oscar  A 447 

Xelson.  John  G 432 

Xelson,   Xels  O .363 


Nelson.   Olot" 50(; 

Xelson,   Peter   G 431 

Nelson,  William  .\dolph 331 

.\enow,  Gust 406 

Nenow,  Herman  B 406 

.N'esburg,  .\uilrew  0 361 

Nesburg,   Gunder  0 360 

Xesburg,  Ole  O .'iOO 

Ness.  Jens  S 343 

Xestande,  John  P 520 

Nestande,    Peter 333 

Nester,    John 491 

Newholm,  .lohn  P 427 

.\ewton.  Otis  W 390 

Nixon.  Charles  H 464 

.Xordskog,  Ole  0 428 

Okins.  James  P 311 

Olson   Brothers :'.85 

Olson,  John  if ■ 490 

Olson,   Lars 342 

Olson,    .Vels   J 358 

Olson,  Peter  B 392 

Olson,  Peter  0 385 

Olson,  Peter  P 370 

Paar,  Martin    W .382 

Palmer,    .-Vlbert   .1 517 

Palmer,  Jacob  P :!49 

Patton,  J.  P 499 

J'aul.son,  Ande  P 3.59 

Paulson.   Nels 4.33 

Peterson,   .\lf red   H 359 

Peterson,    Gunerus 344 

Peterson,  O.  F 499 

Phillips,   Jr..    Xavier 383 

Pier<'e,  Sr.,  William  S 518 

Poetschat,   George 475 

Powers,  William 493 

I'relwitz,   .\ugust 449 

Prehvitz,  Sr.,  .\ugust 449 

Quiglev,    Hartlet 493 

Kaitz,'Levi  A 472 

Rehstock,    Ernest    W 422 

Keuber,   Christian   H 451 

Revier.  Sr.,  Paul 384 

Renville,  .Mrs.   .Marv  B 499 

Rice,  John  H 486 

Richards,  Gibson   A 312 

Rieke,  Angiis  V 500 

Rieke,  Gustav  A 349 

Rieke.  Henrv   H 359 

Rieke,  Williiim   P 505 

Rockmann,  Clu'istian 374 

Rovainen,  Isaac   W 335 

Runke,  John  H 331 

Ruona,    Hialmer 342 

Ruona,   W'illiam    S 516 

Saifert,   George  J 453 

Sausele,  Fred  W 402 

Savela,  Carl .343 

Savela.  Jr.,  John  .T 453 

Savela,  Sr.,  .Tohn  .1 452 

Savela,  Henry  J 452 

Savela.   Louis .343 

Schaffler,    Charles 500 

Schanindt,   Martin 333 

Schirnier,  Franz 357 

Schniechel,   Herman 496 

Schnichels.  ilathias 446 

Scott,  Elias  Evans 457 

Sell.  Reinhard   E 407 

S.lie|i|iard,   Ben.iamin  F 450 


INDEX   TO  HlOUKAl'lllKS 


xvu 


Shi'iipiud,  liii  S 317 

Sliocnialu-r.  Henry  W 404 

Simnioiis,   Robert  E SOo 

Simmons,   Thomas S7!i 

Sing,  Henry  B HW 

Stasson,  Frank 506 

Stewart.  Lewis  J 35:! 

Strom,  Nels  H 334 

Tliomjisoii,   Christopher 521 

Tliompson,   Engebret 503 

Thompson,   John 45.t 

Toob\    Patrick    E '. 462 

Tinnos,  Heiirv  0 466 

Tis.lell,  Thomas  H 3S6 

Tollifson,  Brinfrel 42(i 

Tompkins,  James  H 444 

Torbenson.  Thomas 424 

Torbort,  Charles  F 435 

Torbert,  JaniPS  G 434 


ririck,  William 435 

Voeks.  Herman  J 515 

Voelz,  Emil  A 405 

Voltin,  Joseph 357 

Watrner,  Jacob  C 509 

Wallace,  Asa  M 500 

Warner,  John 454 

Wellner,  Charles 345 

Wonz,  Charles 436 

Wepplo,  I'eter  J 480 

White.  Nathan  D 500 

Wichmann,  Diedrich 502 

Wielir,  Augnst 438 

Wiehr,  Robert 374 

Wimlhorst.  William 4!15 

Wismaii.  (Jeor}.'e  W 437 

Wolff.    E.Iwin    B 476 

Wolff,   Robert 477 

Wood,  James 487 


/"^'^^SSJ 


INDEX  TO  PORTRAITS 


Aiicli'i'soii,     -Mr.     mill     Mrs.     An- 
drew  .) 47,s 

Avery,  Delbert  G.,  and  family..  :\H'> 
Bethke,  J[r.  ami  Mrs.  Herman..   :i(is 

Boyum,  Ole  .1.,  ami  lamilv .50s 

Bu'sli.  yU:  and  ifrs.  .lolni  Henrv  414 
Butler,  Mr.  and  iirs.  Kdwanl  .1.'.  440 
Hntler,    ^^r.   and    Mrs.   Benjamin 

.hiscin    4,S4 

Byliollcr,  .\lr.  and  Mrs.  Tlieodore  ;i2:i 
<'liristiaiison,  Mr.  and  AFrs.  Anton  '>()] 
Cotlin,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Erwin  T.  .  .  :!](i 
Colby,  Afr.  and  Jtrs.  Edgar  L.  .  .   417 

County  (^nrt  House o7S 

Dahl,  Amund 448 

Drake,  Mr.  ami  Mrs.  James....  47fi 
Dunsniore.  Henrv  and  Familv..  4i)i) 
Elstad,  >tr.  and  Mrs.  .lolm   U.  .  .    .iiil) 

Felir,  Henrv,  and  familv 474 

Field,    Hans ". .SOii 

Firle.  Cliarles  H MS 

Fis(dier,  John,  and  familv 410 

Fox,    Sr.,    Mr.    and    Mrs.    Fred- 
erick J ISl 

Glesener,  Cliarles,  and  familv...   :i.Sl 

Hall,   Darwin  S ' 

Frontispiece  Steel   Engravings 

Hall,  .Mr.  ami  Mrs,  Darwin  S.  .  .  307 
H.uilirich,      Anthony      V.,     and 

family    ' .S87 

Himlerman,  Mr,  ami   ^[rs,  .lacob 

M ■>:,] 

Hogstad,  .lohn  O.,  stock  farm.  .  .  MT 
Hoimyr.  Ole   P.,  and   familv.;..    X',7 

Houcdi,   Mr.  and   >rrs.  Floyd 4.3") 

Honck,  Mr.  and  Mrs,  Theodore.  .    470 

Indian    Chief 2.T 

Jensen,  Mr.  and  Jfrs,  Hans .51.3 

Johnson,  .Instin,  and  family,...  429 
Johnson,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Martin..  4.'!ii 
Johnson,  William  A,,  and  familv  IWA 
Kennedy,  Air.  and  Mrs,  William   .■iS7 

Kern,  .lohn  M.,  and  family 387 

Kettner,    Rev,    Ludwig   Herman, 

and   family ,",77 

T^easman,  George   W 420 

Lcnander,  Mr,  and  Mrs.  Peter,,   468 

Little   Crow ]39 

Logan,  Hugh  H .3,S9 

Lund.  :\rr,  and  Mrs.  Christian  P,  .ill 
Jfany   Years  Ago 278 


.\lanthei,  Julius,  ami    family...,    408 

Menz,  ,Iohn   E.,  and   family' 488 

Mihm,  Henrv,  an.l    familv' 483 

Musil,  Prank  J 395 

.Veitzel,  C.  F 446 

Xelson,  Peter  G,,  and  family,..  431 
.\esburg,  Andrew  ().,  and  family  361 
-Vesbnrg,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Ole  0...    360 

Xess,  Mr.  and   Mrs.  Jens  S 343 

Xestande,  John  P.,  aucl  family..    520 

Xestande,    Peter 333 

.\i.\on,  Charles  H 464 

Okius,  Mr.  and  Mrs,  James  P.  .  .   311 

Old  Log  Cabin 289 

Olson,  Nels  J.,  and  family 358 

Olson,  John  M.  . 490 

Olson,  iVTr.  and  Mrs.  Peter  B 392 

Olson,  Mr.  and  Mrs,  Peter  O 385 

0.\    Team 196 

Peterson.  ^Mr.  and  Mrs.  (Uinerus.  344 
Prelwitz,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  August.  .  449 
Raitz,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Levi  A.  .  .  .  472 
Rebstock,   Mr.   and   Mrs.   Ernest 

W 422 

Rockmann,   Mr.   and    .Mrs.  Chris- 

tiiin    374 

Rovainen,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Isaac  W.  335 
Knona,  William  S.,  and  family.,  516 
Sausele,  Fred  W,,  and  family'.  ,  .  402 
Savela,  Sr,,  John  .1.,  and  family  452 
Scott,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Elias  Evan's  457 
Shoemaker,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Francis  404 
Shoemaker,     Henry     W.,     and 

family    ' 404 

Simmons,  Thomas  and  family...    379 

Stasson.  Frank '     ,     5O6 

The  Old   Way 283 

'rii<iui]ison.  Mr.  and  Mrs,  Christ.  521 
Thomjison,  Mr.  and  Mrs  John..   455 

Tinnes,    Henry   0 466 

Tinnes,  Mr.  and  Mrs,  Lafe 466 

Timms,  Henry.  Cabin  ,  .  ; 32 

Tompkins,   Mr,   and   Mrs,  James 

H 444 

Toole,  Mr,  and  Mrs,  Patrick  E,,  462 
Torhenson,  Thomas,  and  family,  424 
Voelz,  Kmil  A.,  and  family,.."..  405 
Wagner,  Mr.  anil  Mrs.  .lacob  C.  509 
Wiehr,   Mr,  and  Mrs,  Robert...   374 

Wimlhorst,    William 495 

Wichman,   WilliarTi,   Birtliiil,nce. .      32 


CHAPTER  I. 

NATURAL  PHENOMENA. 

Advantages — Situation  and  Area — Natural  Drainage — Topog- 
raphy— Altitudes— Son  and  Timber — Archean  Rocks — Gneiss 
and  Granite — Cretaceous  Beds — Glacial  and  Modified  Drift — 
Underground  Waters — Natural  Resources. 

On  its  splendid  course  through  the  mighty  state  to  which  it  has 
given  its  noble  name,  the  turgid  Minnesota  passes  no  fairer  land 
than  that  which  it  touelies  from  Hawk  Creek  to  Camp,  where, 
well  tilled  and  populous,  Reuvilh'  county  stretches  away  in 
siglitly  prospects. 

A  fertile  country  of  rich,  black  soil,  its  surface  divided  into 
rolling  land  and  prairie,  beautified  by  meandering  streams,  inter- 
spersed with  stately  groves,  the  county  has  advantages  of  loca- 
tion and  surface  which  have  made  it  one  of  the  best  agricultural 
and  stock  raising  counties  in  the  state. 

The  elevation  of  this  stretch  of  land  above  the  sea,  its  fine 
drainage  and  the  dryness  of  the  atmosphere  give  it  a  climate  of 
unusual  salubrity  and  pleasantness.  Its  latitude  gives  it  corre- 
spondingly longer  days  in  summer  and  during  the  growing  sea- 
sons about  one  and  a  half  hours  more  of  sunshine  than  in  the 
latitude  of  St.  Louis.  The  refreshing  breezes  and  cool  nights  in 
summer  prevent  the  debilitating  effect  of  the  heat  so  often  felt  in 
lower  latitudes.  The  winter  climate  is  also  one  of  the  attractive 
features.  Its  uniformity  and  its  dryness,  togetlier  with  the  bright 
sunshine  and  the  electrical  condition  of  the  air,  all  tend  to 
enhance  the  personal  comfort  of  the  resident,  and  to  make  out- 
door life  and  labor  a  pleasure. 

Embracing,  as  the  county  does,  so  pleasing  a  prospect  to  the 
eye,  and  so  fruitful  a  field  for  successful  endeavor,  it  is  natural 
that  the  people  who  from  the  eai'liest  days  have  been  attracted 
here  should  be  the  possessors  of  steady  virtues,  ready  to  toil  and 
to  saerifiee,  that  their  labors  might  l)e  crowned  with  the  fruits  of 
prosperity  and  happiness. 

While  tliere  are  no  large  cities,  there  are  many  thriving  busi- 
ness centers  along  the  two  lines  of  railroad.  These  places  have 
had  their  share  in  the  general  commercial  upbuilding  of  the  com- 
munity, furnishing  excellent  trading  and  shipping  facilities  for 
the  rural  districts  as  well  as  for  their  own  people. 

The  agricultural  neighborhoods  are  the  scenes  of  peace,  pros- 
^perity  and  contentment.     The  homes  are  substantially  built,  and 

1 


2  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

furnished  with  the  eomforts  aucl  eouveiiieiices  of  modern  life ; 
stock  is  humanely  housed  and  well  pastui-ed :  the  farm  land  is 
extensively  tilled  and  productive ;  aud  the  churches  and  schools 
which  are  seen  on  every  side  testify  to  an  interest  in  tlie  higher 
things  of  life  by  a  law-abiding,  jDrogressive  and  prosperous  people. 

It  is  indeed  in  its  men  and  w'omen,  rather  than  in  its  stores 
and  commerce,  its  grains  and  vegetables,  its  live  stock  and  fruits, 
that  Renville  county  takes  her  greatest  pride.  From  her  hamlets, 
from  her  business  centers  and  from  her  farms  have  gone  forth 
those  who  have  taken  an  important  part  in  the  activities  of  the 
world,  and  who,  whether  in  commerce  or  statesmanship,  in  the 
professions  or  in  the  trades,  have  maintained  tliat  steadfastness 
of  purpose,  and  staunchness  of  character,  that  mark  true  Renville 
county  men  and  women  wherever  they  may  be  found. 

Unusually  blessed  by  nature  with  deep  soil  and  abundant 
natural  resources,  and  endowed  with  a  Avealth  of  historic  and 
prehistoric  lore,  tlie  county  is  indeed  a  fitting  home  for  the  sturdy 
people  who  have  here  made  their  dwelling  place.  Hard-working, 
progressive,  educated  and  i^rosperous  they  have  appreciated  the 
gifts  which  nature  has  spread  for  them  and  have  adiled  their  own 
toil,  and  the  fruit  of  their  intellect,  to  tlie  work  of  the  elements, 
making  the  county  one  of  the  beautiful  spots  of  the  earth.  On 
the  slopes  graze  well-keiit  cattle,  on  the  pi'airie  droves  of  swine 
find  sustenance,  chickens  and  turkeys  wander  about  the  yards 
aud  fields,  ducks  aucl  geese  find  food  to  their  liking  in  tlie  many 
shallow  i)ools,  horses  and  colts  canter  al)out  tlie  fields,  and  the 
tilled  lands  respond  to  the  efl:'orts  of  tlie  sjU'lng  time  sower  and 
planter  with  a  wealth  of  harvest  in  thi'  summer  and  autumn.  On 
nearly  every  quarter  section  is  reared  a  comfortable  home  and 
commodious  barns,  while  from  the  crest  of  every  swell  of  land 
are  visible  the  churches  and  schools  wherein  the  people  worship 
the  Giver  of  all  (lifts  and  educate  their  children.  Thus  blessed 
by  God  and  beloved  by  man,  the  county  today  stands  for  all  that 
is  ideal  in  American  life,  and  is  forging  ahead  to  wider  influence 
and  more   exteiule<l   opiiortiiiiity. 

Renville  county,  surpassed  by  few  lands  in  the  state  for  the 
fertility  of  its  soil ;  its  bountiful  sui)[ily  of  domestic  timber  and 
pure  water;  its  surface  of  swelling  lands  and  rolling  prairies; 
and  its  adaptation  to  every  variety  of  agricultural  product,  lias 
furnished  to  the  citizens  material  wisely  improved  by  them  for 
substantial  wealth,  good  homes  and  sound  public  institutions, 
economically  and  ju-udently  administered;  where  law  and  good 
order,  industry  and  sobriety  have  always  been  u]3lield  and 
observed ;  where  the  eomforts  and  jirovisions  for  the  enjoyment 
of  life  are  evenly  distributed,  and  where,  in  the  future,  as  in  the 
past,  "peace  and  happiness,  truth  and  .iustice,  religion  aud  piety, 
will  be  established  throughout  all  generations."" 


HISTORY  OP  RENVILLE  COUNTY  3 

Situation  and  Area.  Renville  county  lies  in  the  central  part 
of  the  south  hall'  of  Minnesota.  Its  southern  boundary  is  the 
Minnesota  river,  this  county  being  midway  between  Big  Stone 
lake  and  ilankato,  the  limits  of  the  portion  of  this  river  in  which 
it  flows  southeast.  The  length  of  Renville  county  from  east  to 
west  is  forty-eight  miles,  and  its  greatest  width  is  thirty  miles. 
Its  area  is  981.31  square  miles,  or  628,036.58  acres,  of  which 
6,385.69  acres  are  covered  by  water. 

The  full  Congressional  townships  are :  Wang,  Erieson,  Crooks, 
Winfield,  Kingman,  Osceola,  Brookfield,  Boon  Lake,  Preston  Lake, 
Hector,  ilelville.  Bird  Island,  Troy,  Emmet,  Henryville,  Norfolk, 
Palmyra,  Martinsburg,  Wellington,  Brandon  and  Cairo.  The 
townships  of  Hawk  (Jreek,  Sacred  Heart,  Flora,  Beaver  Falls, 
Birch  Coolcy  and  Camp  are  made  irregular  by  the  course  of  the 
^Minnesota  river. 

On  the  west  and  north  lies  Chippewa  coiinty,  on  the  north 
lie  Kandiyohi  and  Meeker  counties,  on  the  east  is  McLeod  county, 
on  the  east  and  south  is  Sibley  county,  on  the  south  is  Nicollet 
county,  and  on  the  southeast  separated  from  this  county  by  the 
Minnesota  river  are  Yellow  Medicine,  Redwood  and  Brown 
counties. 

Natural  Drainage.  About  three-fourths  of  this  county  are 
drained  to  the  Jlinuesota  rivei'.  Beaver  creek,  some  twenty  miles 
long,  Ij'ing  wholly  within  this  county,  and  Hawk  creek,  about 
thii'ty  miles  long,  rising  in  Kandiyohi  and  Chippewa  counties, 
and  flowing  through  the  west  end  of  Renville  county,  are  its 
largest  streams  ti-ibutary  to  the  ^Minnesota  river.  Several  smaller 
creeks  also  join  the  Minnesota  river  in  this  county,  inchiding 
Middle  creek  in  Flora,  about  three  miles  long:  Birch  cooley  (the 
term  coulee,  also  spelled  coulie  and  anglicized  to  cooley,  meaning 
a  water-coui-se,  especially  when  in  a  deep  ravine,  was  applied  by 
the  French  voyageurs  to  this  and  manj^  other  streams,  mostly  in 
the  country  farther  northwest),  in  the  township  to  which  it  gives 
its  name,  about  seven  mile«  long,  and  Three  Mile  creek  in  Camp, 
about  three  miles  long.  From  Cairo,  the  most  southeastern  town- 
ship of  this  county.  Fort  creek  and  Mud  or  Litthi  Rock  creek 
flow  southward  into  Ridgely  in  Nicollet  count}'. 

Nearly  one-fourth  of  Renville  county  07i  the  noi-theast  is 
drained  to  the  Mississippi  by  Buffalo  creek  and  the  South  brand) 
of  the  Crow  river.  The  chief  sources  of  Buffalo  creek  are  in  the 
townships  of  Brookfield,  Boon  Lake  and  Preston  Lake. 

The  last  two  named  townshi])s  contain  several  lakes,  the 
largest  of  Avhich  are  Boon  lake,  three  miles  long  from  southwest 
to  northeast,  lying  in  the  northwest  quarter  of  the  township  to 
which  it  gives  its  name;  Preston  lake,  one  and  a  half  miles  long 
from  north  to  south  and  nearly  a  mile  wide,  in  the  northea.st 
quarter  of  Preston  Lake  township;  and   Lake  Alice,  close  north- 


4  HISTORY  OF  KEW'ILLE  COUNTY 

west  of  the  last,  about  a  mile  long  from  north  to  south  and  three- 
fourths  of  a  mile  wide.  Fox  lake,  four  miles  long  from  east  to 
west,  lying  about  half  in  this  county  and  half  in  Kandiyohi 
county,  is  crossed  by  the  north  line  of  Kingman.  Long  or  Lizard 
lake,  extending  three  miles  from  east  to  west,  but  narrow,  is 
situated  about  tive  miles  farther  southwest  in  Winfield.  Frequent 
sloughs,  from  a  few  hundred  feet  to  two  or  three  miles  long,  and 
occasional  small  lakes  were  found  originally  throughout  the  cen- 
tral and  western  parts  of  the  coiiuty,  mostly  trending  from  north- 
west to  southeast,  or  approximately  in  this  direction.  Some  have 
now  been  eliminated  by  ditching.  On  the  southeast,  a  lake  about 
a  mile  long  lies  at  the  center  of  Wellington,  and  JMud  or  Little 
Rock  creek  flows  through  another  lake  of  about  the  same  length 
in  the  southeast  quarter  of  Cairo.  Marshes  are  frequent  through- 
out the  county,  nearly  every  farm  having  small  "swales,"  which 
are  as  yet  untillable.  but  which  ditching  and  tiling  will  transform 
into  valuable  crop  land. 

Topography.  Renville  cou)ity  is  covered  by  the  glacial  drift 
so  deeply  that  it  has  no  outcrops  of  the  bed-rocks,  except  in  the 
Minnesota  valley,  and  in  the  valleys  of  Beaver  creek.  Birch  Cooley 
and  Fort  creek,  near  their  junction  with  the  Minnesota.  The 
minor  topographic  features  of  this  county,  excepting  within  the 
Minnesota  valley,  are  therefore  due  to  the  form  in  which  the 
surface  of  the  drift-sheet  was  moulded  at  the  time  of  its  deposi- 
tion, here  a  gently  undulating  broad  cxiianse  of  nearly  uniform 
average  heiglit.  and  to  the  eroding  effects  of  rains,  rills  and 
streams  since  that  time,  principally  exhibited  in  the  excavation 
of  water-courses,  varying  in  size  from  tiny  channels  of  rivulets 
to  deeper  gullies,  ravines,  and  the  valleys  of  rivers.  The  undula- 
tions of  the  surface  rise  with  long  slopes  only  five  to  ten  or  twenty 
feet  above  the  depressions,  and  in  an  extended  view  these  irregu- 
larities are  merged  in  the  almost  level  and  apparently  limitless 
jjrairie.  The  contour  of  Hector,  Melville,  Osceola,  and  Uie  west 
part  of  Brookfleld  is  more  undulating  or  rolling  than  most  other 
parts  of  this  county.  Kame-like  hillocks,  composed  of  sand  and 
gravel,  are  seen  near  the  north  line  of  section  .5,  Hector,  forty 
feet  above  the  depression  on  their  north  side.  East  of  this  tract 
the  contoiu'  as  usual  is  nearly  level,  and  Boon  lake.  Lake  Alice 
and  Preston  lake  lie  only  about  Hfteen  feet  below  the  general 
surface. 

Tlie  Minnesota  valley  cuts  this  monotonous  expanse  by  bluff's 
which  descend  175  oi'  200  feet.  This  valley  here  varies  in  width 
from  one  to  two  miles,  or  rarel,y  three  miles,  as  at  the  south  side 
of  Sacred  Heart  township.  Its  bottomland  contains  many  out- 
crops of  gneis.sic  rocks,  which  rise  fifty  to  one  hundred  feet  or 
occasionally  one  hundred  twenty-five  feet  above  the  river.  The 
tributaries  of  this  valley  also  flow  in  channels  which  they  have 


HISTORY  OF  KEXVILLK  COUNTY  5 

eroded  to  a  slight  depth  ahjiig  tlicir  upper  portions,  but  which 
increase  in  depth  to  their  junction  with  the  Minnesota  valley, 
being  in  the  lower  part  of  their  course  one  hundred  to  one  hun- 
dred fifty  or  one  hundred  sevonty-fivc  feet  deep,  and  an  eighth 
to  a  q\iarter  of  a  mile  wide.  The  bluti's  of  the  Minnesota  valley 
are  also  indented  by  frequent  short  cooleys  or  ravines,  eroded 
by  the  rivulets  which  flow  in  them,  issuing  from  perennial  springs, 
or  in  many  instances  kept  running  only  through  the  more  wet 
portions  of  the  year.  Scarcely  a  half  mile  of  the  bluff  can  be 
found  without  such  indentations.  Tiie  length  of  these  ravines  is 
usually  only  a  few  hundred  yai'ds,  but  some  are  a  half  nule  or 
a  mile  long,  and  then  tluMr  sui)ply  of  water,  being  from  deep 
sprintrs,  is  less  atfeeted  by  droughts  than  the  lai-ger  streams. 

Altitudes.  The  highest  land  of  Renville  county  is  in  its  north- 
ern i)ai-t.  from  Hector  and  Brookfield  Avestward  to  Lizard  lake, 
the  swells  of  the  undulating  praii'ie  there  being  1,100  to  1,125 
feet  above  the  sea,  wliilt>  the  depressions  containing  sloughs  or 
lakes  are  mostly  below  1.100.  The  valley  of  the  Minnesota  river 
where  it  leaves  the  cotnity  is  its  lowest  land,  being  796  feet  above 
the  sea;  but  its  bluffs,  rising  200  feet,  have  their  tops  only  about 
a  hundred  feet  lower  than  the  highest  part  of  the  county  twent.y- 
five  to  thirty  miles  farther  north. 

Estimates  of  the  average  height  of  the  lownsliips  are  as  fol- 
lows: Boon  Lake,  1,085  feet  above  the  sea;  Preston  Lake,  1,075; 
Brookfield,  1,100;  Hector,  1,090:  INFartinsburg,  1,0G5;  Wellington, 
1,040;  Cairo,  1,015;  Osceola,  1,110;  Melville,  1,090;  Palmyra, 
1,160;  Bandon.  1,135;  Camp,  1,000;  Kingman,  1,110;  Bird  Island, 
1,080;  Norfolk,  1,145;  Birch  Cooley,  1,000;  Winfield,  1,090;  Troy, 
1,065;  Henryville,  1,0:{0;  Beaver  Palls,  990;  Crooks,  1,075; 
Emmett,  1,060;  Flora,  1,000;  Eriekson,  1,060;  Sacred  Heart,  1,030; 
Wang,  1,040:  and  Hawk  Creek,  1,010.  The  mean  elevation  of 
Renville  county,  dei'ived  from  these  figures  is  1,055  feet. 

Soil  and  Timber.  The  black  soil  is  from  one  to  one  and  a 
half  feet  deep,  and  grailually  changes  in  the  next  foot  to  the  yel- 
lowish color  which  cliiuaclcrizcs  the  drift  near  the  surface.  In 
sloughs  and  on  the  hottomland  of  the  Minnesota  river,  however, 
the  thickness  of  the  IVitilc  Mark  soil  is  often  fi-oiii  two  to  four 
feet. 

Nearly  all  of  Kcnvillc  county  is  pi-airic.  or  natural  niowing- 
land  and  i)asture,  needing  only  jilowing  and  sc<'ding  to  i)i-ci)ai-e 
it  for  harvest.  Timbei'  occurs  along  the  bluff  of  the  Minnesota 
river,  and  in  a  narrow  licit  along  the  river's  course,  but  most  of 
the  bottondand  is  treeless.  The  valleys  of  Hawk  and  Beaver 
creeks,  Bii'ch  cooley,  and  the  small  creeks  in  Camp  and  Cairo, 
are  also  wooded;  and  groves  are  found  on  the  borders  of  Boon 
lake.  Lake  Alice,  ami  Preston   hd<c. 

All  the  groves  now  seen  in   the  prairie  parts  of  the  county, 


6  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

away  from  the  watercourses  and  lakes,  liave  been  planted.  Every 
house  has  a  stately  grove  as  a  windshield,  and  no  farm  is  now 
without  a  plentiful  supply  of  timber. 

In  the  early  days  several  acres  in  what  is  now  Bird  Island 
township  was  heavily  wooded;  sloughs  and  swales  forming  an 
island  which  was  thus  protected  from  the  ravages  of  prairie 
tires. 

Birch  cooley  takes  its  nHiue  from  the  paper  or  canoe  birch 
(Betula  payrifera,  ^Marshall),  which  occurs  plentifully  on  this 
creek,  some  of  its  trees  attaining  a  diameter  of  one  foot,  in  sec- 
tions 28  and  ii:.!  of  Birch  (Jooley  township.  It  is  also  found,  but 
only  sparingly,  on  Beaver  creek,  and  on  Wabashaw  creek  in  Red- 
wood county,  while  farther  southwestward  in  the  state  it  is 
absent.  Other  species  of  trees  in  this  county  include  basswood, 
sugar  maple  and  white  or  soft  maple,  box-elder,  wild  plum,  white 
and  green  ash,  white  and  red  or  slip-soft  maple,  box-elder,  wild 
plum,  white  and  green  ash,  white  and  red  or  slippery  elm,  hack- 
berry,  bur  oak.  irnnwood,  poplar,  Cottonwood  and  red  cedar. 

Archean  Rocks.  The  Minnesota  valley  on  the  boundary  oE 
Renville  county,  excepting  south  of  Hawk  Creek  township,  con- 
tains frequent  or  in  most  portions  abundant  ledges  of  gneiss  and 
granite,  in  some  places  inclosing  masses  of  hornblende  schist. 
For  twelve  miles  above  Beaver  Falls,  to  tlie  west  line  of  Flora, 
these  rock-outcrops  fill  the  whole  valley,  oeciu'ring  on  each  side 
of  the  river,  and  rising  fifty  to  one  hundred  twenty-iive  feet 
above  it.  Between  Beaver  creek  and  Birch  cooley  the  outcrops 
are  mainly  on  tlie  north  side  of  the  Minnesota,  rising  in  their 
highest  portions  one  hundred  feet  above  the  river.  Below  the 
mouth  of  Birch  cooley  they  are  mostly  on  the  soutii  side,  occurring 
in  great  abundance  for  two  miles  above  and  three  miles  below 
the  mouth  of  Wabashaw  creek. 

Near  the  east  line  of  section  HO,  Beaver  Falls,  a  quarter  of  a 
mile  north  from  the  ford  of  tlie  Minnesota  river,  the  rock  is  gray 
gneiss,  weathering  to  reddish  gray,  apparently  almost  vertical, 
with  its  strike  east  northeast.  At  the  east  side  of  the  road  this 
gneiss  is  crossed  by  a  nearly  vertical  vein,  one  to  three  feet  wide 
of  coarsely  crystalline  feldsjiar  and  quartz,  extending  within  sight 
fifty  feet.  These  strata  are  also  exposed  in  the  valley  of  Beaver 
creek  one  and  two  miles  above  its  junction  with  the  Minnesota 
valley.  The  mill-dam  at  the  village  of  Beaver  Falls  is  nearly 
within  the  line  of  strike  of  the  gneiss  described  north  of  the 
ford,  and  a  similar  gneiss,  with  nearly  the  same  strike,  is  found 
here.  Its  dip  is  fifteen  degi'ees  south  southeast.  At  the  dam,  one 
mile  northeast  from  the  last,  is  an  extensive  exposure  of  gray 
gneiss,  also  with  east  northeast  strike;  it  is  nearly  vertical  or  has 
a  steep  dip  to  the  south  southeast,  and  in  some  portions  is  much 
contorted.    Veins,  six  to  eighteen  inches  wide,  of  coarsely  crystal- 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  7 

line  flesh-colored  feldspar,  coinciding  with  the  strike,  are  common 
here. 

In  the  valley  of  Birch  Coolej%  about  one  mile  above  its  entrance 
into  that  of  tln^  jMinncsota,  are  large  exposures  of  granite,  holding 
interesting  veins,  faulted  and  divided  portions  of  which  were 
figured  and  described  by  Prof.  Winchell  in  the  Second  Annual 
Report  of  the  State  Geological  Survey.  One  of  these  veins,  com- 
posed of  granite  and  four  inches  wide,  is  traceable  two  hundred 
and  fifty  feet,  running  sontliwest.  Other  extensive  outcrops  of 
granite  or  gneiss,  i)ai-t]y  decomposed,  apparently  dipping  south, 
southeast  and  southwest,  form  tiie  sides  of  this  valley  or  ravine 
below  the  mills. 

Two  miles  southeast  from  the  mouth  of  Birch  Cooley,  a  low 
outcrop  examined  on  the  north  side  of  the  river  is  granitoid 
gneiss,  containing  a  large  proportion  of  fiesh-colored  feldspar. 
This  is  in  tlie  northwest  quarter  of  section  10,  Birch  Cooley.  At 
an  excavation  for  building  a  house  near  by,  in  the  southwest 
quarter  of  section  3,  a  bed  of  decomposed  gneiss  was  noted,  show- 
ing a  dip  of  twenty  degrees  to  the  west  northwest.  Ledges  were 
next  seen  on  the  iiorth  side  of  the  river  three  miles  below  the  last, 
in  the  vicinity  of  the  line  between  Birch  Cooley  and  Camp, 
extending  a  half  mile  westward  and  rising  ten  to  twenty-five  feet 
above  the  bottomland.  Another  small  outcrop,  the  most  south- 
eastern observed  in  tiiis  county,  occurs  about  five  miles  farther 
soutiieast,  being  on  tlie  north  side  of  a  small  round  lakelet  in  the 
bottomland,  probably  in  the  east  part  of  section  34,  Camp. 

The  most  northwestern  exposure  of  rock  noted  in  Renville 
county  is  in  the  northeast  quarter  of  section  16,  Sacred  Heart, 
where  a  ledge  of  gneiss  rises  about  fifty  feet  above  the  river.  One 
to  three  miles  farther  west,  but  on  the  south  side  of  the  river,  it 
has  more  prominent  and  extensive  outcrops.  In  the  next  six  or 
seven  miles  northwestward  to  the  west  line  of  this  county  no 
rock-exposures  were  found. 

Arcliean  gneiss  and  related  crystalline  rocks  doubtless  also 
underlie  the  drift  upon  this  entire  county,  being  continuous  from 
the  Minnesota  river  northeast  to  the  syenite,  granite  and  gneiss 
exposed  in  Stearns,  Benton  and  Morrison  counties  and  in  the 
nortli  part   of  tlie  state. 

Decomposed  Gneiss  and  Granite.  In  the  portion  of  the  JMinnc- 
sota valley  adjoining  this  county,  the  outcrops  of  gneiss  and 
granite  are  frequently  found  to  be  more  or  less  decomposed, 
being  changed  in  their  upper  part  to  a  soft,  earthy  or  clayey 
mass,  resembling  kaolin.  Tliis  condition  of  the  rock,  as  observed 
by  Prof.  Winchell  in  its  exposure  on  Birch  cooley,  has  been 
described  by  him  as  follows : 

"A  substance  was  met  with  here  for  the  first  time  which  was 
afterwards  seen  at  a  number  of  places.     Its  origin  seems  to  be 


8  HISTOKY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

dependent  on  the  granite.  Its  association  with  the  granite  is  so 
close  that  it  seems  to  be  a  result  of  a  change  in  the  granite  itself. 
It  lies  first  under  the  drift,  or  under  the  Cretaceous  rocks,  where 
they  overlie  the  granite,  and  passes  by  slow  changes  into  the 
granite.  It  has  some  of  the  characters  of  steatite,  and  some  of 
those  of  kaolin.  In  some  places  it  seems  to  be  a  true  kaolin.  It 
is  knoM-n  by  the  people  as  'Castile  soap."  It  cuts  like  soap,  has  a 
blue  color  when  fresh,  or  kept  wet,  but  a  faded  and  yellowish 
ash  color  when  weathered,  and  when  long  and  perfectly  weath- 
ered is  white  and  glistening.  The  boys  cut  it  into  the  shapes  of 
pipes  and  various  toys.  It  appears  like  the  pipestone,  though 
less  heavy  and  less  hard,  and  has  a  very  different  color.  It  is 
said  to  harden  by  heating.  This  substance,  which  may,  at  least 
provisionally,  be  denominated  a  kaolin,  seems  to  be  the  result  of 
the  action  of  water  in  the  tuiderlyiug  granite.  Since  it  prevails 
in  the  Cretaceous  areas,  and  is  always  present,  so  far  as  known, 
whenever  the  Cretaceous  dei>osits  have  preserved  it  from  disrup- 
tion by  the  glacier  period,  it  may  be  attributed  to  the  action  of 
the  Cretaceous  ocean.  In  some  places  it  is  gritty,  and  in  others 
it  may  be  completely  pulverized  in  tlie  fingers.  A  great  abund- 
ance of  this  material  exists  in  the  banks  of  tlie  Birch  Cooley 
within  a  short  distance  of  its  mouth." 

Samples  of  this  substance  were  analyzed  by  Prof.  S.  F.  Peck- 
ham,  who  reported  it  as  follows:  "A  dull-green,  amorphous  min- 
eral, unctuous  and  soapy  to  the  toucli.  Fractixre  uneven,  coarse- 
ly granular.  Hardness,  1.5.  Easily  cut  with  a  knife,  giving 
a  smooth  surface.  Specific  gravity,  2.562.  Lu.stre  dull,  waxy, 
with  very  minute  pearly  scales.  Color  mottled,  dull-green  to 
grayish-green,  apoque,  scales  translucent.  When  wetted  it  ab- 
sorbs water  and  softens,  but  does  not  become  pla.stic.  In  closed 
tube  it  gives  water.  B.  B.  infusible.  Gives  the  color  with  co- 
balt, which  is  indistinct  from  excess  of  iron.  Is  decomposed 
by  hydrochloric  acid,  leaving  a  white  insoluble  residue  contain- 
ing only  a  trace  of  iron.  The  oxidation  of  the  iron  varies  ac- 
cording to  the  extent  of  the  exposure.  The  following  are  the 
mean  results  of  three  closely  concordant  analyses :  silica,  37.88 
per  cent;  ferric  oxide,  15.78;  alumina,  26.96;  magnesia,  1.74; 
potash  and  soda,  0.95 ;  water,  15.88.  A  trace  of  lime  was  not  de- 
termined. These  results  show  the  mineral  to  be  allied  to  Fah- 
lunite,  vai-.  Huronite  of  T.  S.  Hunt.  See  Dana's  llineralogj',  ed. 
1870,  p.  48.5." 

Many  exposures  of  this  decayed  gneiss  and  granite  were  ob- 
served in  the  ravines  of  creeks  and  in  excavations  for  roads 
along  the  lower  portion  of  the  Minnesota  valley  bluffs  through 
Camp,  Birch  Coolej-,  Beaver  Falls  and  Flora.  In  the  west  part 
of  section  21,  Beaver  Palls,  near  the  foot  of  the  descent  to  Red- 
wood Falls  ferry,  decomposed   gneiss  is  seen  in  the   gutter  at 


mSTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  9 

the  east  side  of  the  road  along  a  distance  of  about  thirty  rods, 
declining  in  height  from  sixty  to  thirty  feet  above  the  river. 
The  depth  to  which  the  decomposition  extends  in  this  locality  is 
at  least  ten  feet.  The  decayed  rock  here  is  cream-colored  or 
nearly  white.  It  is  generally  gritty  with  particles  of  quartz 
distributed  through  its  mass,  and  also  contains  veins  of  quartz  one 
to  two  inches  thick,  and  of  feldspar  (Kaolinized)  one  foot  thick. 

Cretaceous  Beds.  Cretaceous  beds  are  found  in  many  places 
along  the  Minnesota  valley,  lying  on  the  Archaean  rocks  and 
separating  them  from  the  glacial  drift.  Before  the  ice  age 
Cretaceous  deposits  probably  constituted  the  surface  generally 
throughout  western  Minnesota,  but  tliey  were  in  large  part 
eroded  by  the  ice,  supplying  much  of  its  drift,  beneath  which 
their  remnants  are  now  concealed,  excepting  where  they  have 
become  exposed  to  view  in  deeply  excavated  valleys. 

On  Fort  creek  in  section  31,  Cairo,  and  in  the  adjoining  edge 
of  Nicollet  county,  beds  of  Cretaceous  clay  or  shale  occur,  con- 
taining in  one  place  a  thin  layer  of  limestone  and  at  another 
point  a  seam  of  clayey  lignite,  or  brown  coal,  about  one  and  a 
half  feet  thick.  Three  miles  west  from  Fort  creek,  a  bed  of 
graj'ish  white  Cretaceous  clay,  levelly  stratified,  was  seen  to  a 
thickness  of  seven  feet  in  an  excavation  on  the  upper  side  of  the 
river  road,  near  the  foot  of  the  bluff,  in  the  north  edge  of  the 
northeast  quarter  of  section  34,  Camp,  at  a  height  of  about  forty 
feet  above  the  river.  Close  west  from  this  point,  another  exca- 
vation beside  the  road  was  in  decomposed  gneiss  or  granite. 
At  Eedwood  Falls  and  within  a  few  miles  to  the  southeast,  near- 
ly opposite  Beaver  Falls,  layers  of  Cretaceous  lignite  have  been 
explored  in  the  bluffs  of  the  Redwood  and  Minnesota  rivers 
without  finding  any  deposit  of  lignite  sufficiently  thick  to  be 
profitably  worked,  and  it  seems  very  unlikely  that  such  will  be 
discovered  in  this  state. 

Most  of  the  observations  of  Cretaceous  strata  aloug  this 
portion  of  the  ilinnesota  vallej-  have  been  in  its  southwestern 
bluffs  and  on  its  southern  tributaries.  Besides  the  localities  on 
Fort  Creek  and  in  Camp  township,  the  only  further  notes  of 
Cretaceous  outcrops  in  Renville  comity  are  the  following,  re- 
corded by  Prof.  Winchell  in  the  second  annual  report. 

"At  a  jioiut  two  miles  below  the  Lower  Sioux  Agency,  sec- 
tion 10,  township  1112,  range  34  (in  Birch  Cooley),  on  the  north 
side  of  the  Minnesota,  a  small  creek  .joins  the  river.  Up  this 
creek,  about  thi'cc-quarters  of  a  mile  from  the  river  bluflfs,  the 
Cretaceous  ap]ieai-s  in  its  banks.  A  conci-ctionary  marl,  or 
apparently  limy  earth,  of  a  white  color,  crumbles  out  under  the 
projecting  iuvL  It  appears  in  fragments  of  an  inch  or  two,  or 
sometimes  larger,  with  angular  outline.  The  surfaces  of  these 
pieces  show  a  great  number  of  round   or  oval  spots,   or  rings, 


10  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

which  seem  to  be  foriin'il  liy  the  sections  of  conecetioiis  inclosed 
in  the  mass.  It  is  rather  liard  when  dry,  and  nearly  white.  It 
is  associated  witli  a  Idue  clay,  the  relations  of  which  cannot  here 
be  made  out. 

"At  a  point  a  little  further  up  this  creek  appears  a  lieavy 
deposit  of  concretionary,  rusty  nuirl  ...  in  heavy  beds  that 
fall  oit'  in  large  fragments,  like  rock.  The  tirst  impression  is 
that  the  bluff  is  composed  of  ferruginous  conglomerate,  but 
there  is  not  a  foreign  pebble  in  it.  Every  little  round  mass  has 
a  tliiu  shell  which  is  easily  broken,  revealing  either  a  cavity 
or  a  loose,  dry  eai'th.  These  concretions  ai-e  generally  not  more 
than  one-fourth  or  one-half  inch  in  diameter;  seen  eighteen  feet. 
Under  this  is  the  light,  concretionary  cla}'  or  marl  already  de- 
scribed.'" 

Glacial  and  Modified  Drift.  Glacial  striae  were  seen  in  sev- 
eral places  on  till'  Irdges  of  gneiss  at  the  dam  at  Beaver  Falls, 
bearing  S.  60'  E.,  referred  to  the  true  nu'ridian ;  and  again  in 
the  uortliwest  quarter  of  section  10.  IJircli  Coolcy.  Iia\ing  the 
same  direction. 

The  unmodified  glacial  drift,  or  till,  with  comiiaratively  small 
associated  deposits  of  modified  drift,  covers  this  comity  to  an 
average  depth  of  about  a  hundred  and  fifty  feet,  as  shown  in 
the  Minnesota  valley,  where  it  has  been  cut  through  by  fluvial 
erosion.  The  till  here  has  the  yellowish  color  near  the  surface, 
due  to  Aveathering,  and  the  dark  and  bluish  color  below,  which 
it  possesses  generall.v  throughout  the  western  two-thirds  of  this 
state. 

Red  till,  having  the  same  color  with  that  which  is  spread  over 
northeastern  iliunesota,  was  observed  at  only  one  locality  in 
Renville  county.  This  was  at  the  northeast  corner  of  the  mill 
in  section  18,  Camp,  where  a  section,  exposed  three  rods  in 
length  and  twelve  feet  in  height,  consisted  wholly  of  this  red 
till,  excepting  two  or  three  feet  of  soil  and  gray  till  on  the  sur- 
face. It  is  in  the  lower  part  of  the  ^Minnesota  valley  bluff,  about 
fifty  feet  above  the  river.  Sevei'al  other  such  exceptional  de- 
posits of  red  till  in  the  great  area  of  blue  till  covering  western 
]Minuesota  and  eastern  Dakota  are  noted  iu  volume  1,  page  628, 
"The  Geolog.y  of  IMinuesota,"  where  their  origin  is  attributed  to 
an  ice-current  reaching  southwestward  from  Lake  Superior 
across  Minnesota  in  the  early  glacial  epoch  when  the  ice  at- 
tained its  maximum  extent  aiid  depth.  Another  explanation  of 
the  red  color  of  the  till  in  these  isolated  localities  is  suggested 
by  Prof.  Wiuchell,  who  thinks  that  it  may  have  been  caused  by 
the  glacial  erosion  of  red  shales  and  sandstones  lying  near  on 
the  north,  coloring  the  drift  locally  in  the  same  waj-  as  it  was 
colored  over  a  large  area  by  derivation  from  such  rocks  abovit 
Lake  Superior.    As  this  part  of  Minnesota  is  almost  universally 


HISTORY  OF  liENVlLLE  COLNTV  11 

drift-eovered,  the  luulerlying  rock-foi'iiiatioiis  are  only  iiartially 
knowu.  No  decisive  evidenee  for  this  view  is  found,  but  nuieh 
probability  is  given  to  it  by  the  occurrence  of  red  shales  in  the 
deep  well  at  ;\rankato  and  of  red  qnartzyte  in  Nicollet,  Cotton- 
wood, Pipestone  and  liock  counties,  similar  to  the  Lake  Superior 
rocks  and  belongings  with  them  to  tlie  same  Potsdam  period. 

Boidders  are  only  sparingly  jjresent  in  tlie  till  of  this  region, 
excepting  on  the  blutls  of  the  ilinnesota  valley  and  its  larger 
tributaries,  where  they  seem  to  have  been  left  in  the  process 
of  erosion,  and  also  at  a  few  localities  in  the  west  part  of  the 
county,  where  they  occasionally  occur  in  remarkable  abundance 
along  the  course  of  sliijht  depressions  on  the  general  surface 
of  the  drift-sheet.  In  the  ilinnesota  valley  boulders  were  seen 
especially  plentiful  on  the  bluffs  through  liirch  (Jooley  township; 
and  in  the  valley  of  Hawk  creek  they  abound  on  its  east  bluff 
■within  a  quarter  of  a  nule  south  from  the  bridge  in  the  north- 
east quarter  of  section  17,  Hawk  Creek.  Many  boulders  were 
noted  in  a  depression  extending  from  north  to  south,  about  thirty 
feet  deep  and  a  sixth  of  a  mile  wide,  crossed  by  the  highway 
and  railroad  near  the  middle  of  sections  1  and  12,  Sacred  Heart; 
also  in  similar  north-to-south  hollows,  about  ti'U  feet  below  the 
average  level,  a  third  of  a  mile  and  again  about  one  mile  west 
of  Olivia.  These  depressions  were  probably  water-courses  dur- 
ing the  departure  of  the  ice-sheet,  and  their  boulders  may  be- 
long to  the  stratum  of  rocky  drift  apparently  a  biu'ied  moraine, 
which  is  observable  along  the  Minnesota  valley  and  within  a  few 
miles  north  fi'om  it  through  Chippewa,  Swift  and  Big  Stone  coun- 
ties. The  size  of  these  rock-fragments  seldom  exceeds  five  feet. 
Most  of  them  are  granite,  syenite,  and  gneiss;  several  of  horn- 
blende schist  wei-e  observeil  in  sections  10  anil  I'i,  Sacred  Heart, 
but  elsewhei'e  few  or  none;  of  this  rock  are  found;  magnesian 
limestone,  which  is  everywhere  present,  making  about  half  of  the 
gravel  in  the  lii'itt,  usually  su])])lies  a  small  proportion,  perhaps 
one  in  twenty,  of  the  large  boulders,  and  even  occurs  rarely  in 
blocks  or  slabs  ten  feet  or  more  in  extent. 

An  interglacial  forest-bed  is  inclosed  in  the  drift  upon  a 
considerable  area  near  the  centi-e  of  this  count}'.  At  Olivia  sta- 
tion, in  section  7,  Bird  Island,  a  well  was  yellow  till,  picked,  ten 
feet;  softer  but  more  rocky  blue  till,  nine  feet;  very  hard  blue 
till,  one  foot ;  and  (|uicksand,  four  feet.  A  log,  ajiiiarently  tama- 
rack, eight  inches  in  diameter,  with  several  smaller  sticks  and 
twigs,  lay  across  this  well,  indieilded  in  the  top  of  the  quicksand. 
They  were  chopj)ed  otf  at  each  side.  G.  "W.  Burch,  two  miles 
southwest  from  this,  in  section  24,  Troy,  found  yellow  till, 
eighteen  feet:  dry,  yellow  sand,  four  feet;  soft  blue  till,  fifteen 
feet;  black  loam,  perhai)s  an  interglacial  soil,  tM'o  feet;  and  gray 
quicksand,  four  feet,  its  upi)er  part  containing  a  log  and  smaller 


12  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

sticks  like  tlie  foregoing'.  Several  other  wells  within  one  or  two 
miles  about  Olivia  show  similar  remains  of  a  deeply  buried  for- 
est-bed, overlain  by  till. 

Terraces  apparently  formed  in  the  till  of  the  general  drift- 
sheet  were  observed  at  two  places  on  the  Minnesota  valley  hluti's, 
one  being  in  section  21,  Hawk  Creek,  lying  about  forty  feet  be- 
low the  top  of  the  bluit'  and  extending  nearly  a  mile  between  the 
creek  and  the  river,  and  the  other  in  Beaver  Falls :  lying  twenty 
to  forty  feet  below  the  top  of  the  bluff,  from  an  eighth  to  a  quar- 
ter of  a  mile  wide  and  extending  two  miles,  with  a  slight  descent 
from  northwest  to  soutlieast.  These  terraces  are  quite  notice- 
able from  the  opjiosite  side  of  the  river.  Seen  from  that  dis- 
tance, they  show  Hat  outlines,  contrasting  with  the  somewhat  un- 
dulating higher  land. 

Kame-like  moimds  and  small  short  ridges  of  gravel  and  sand, 
extending  ten  or  twenty  rods  and  rising  fifteen  to  twenty-five 
feet  above  the  general  level,  are  scattered  over  most  portions  of 
this  and  adjoining  counties.  These  small  ileposits  of  modified 
drift  lie  on  a  surface  of  till,  and  are  attributable  to  the  action 
of  streams  produced  in  the  final  melting  of  tlie  ice-sheet.  Oc- 
casionally such  a  gravel  knoll  is  quite  isolated,  distant  a  half 
mile  or  more  from  any  other.  They  are  sometimes  coarse  gravel, 
with  pebbles  or  rounded  stones  up  to  a  foot  or  more  in  diameter; 
again  they  are  fine  gravel  and  sand,  interstratified  and  obliquely 
bedded.  When  they  form  short  ridges,  their  trend  in  the  central 
and  west  parts  of  this  comity  is  pi'evailingly  from  northwest  to 
southeast,  and  from  west  to  east  in  its  east  part,  but  they  are 
mostly  only  twice  or  three  times  as  long  as  they  are  wide,  and 
no  distinct  series  was  noticed.  In  Brookfield,  Osceola,  Hector, 
Melville,  Bird  Island,  and  Birch  Cooley,  numerous  mounds  of 
this  kind  were  observed.  An  excavation  to  the  depth  of  seven 
feet  in  one  which  is  nearly  round  and  twenty  feet  high,  situated  in 
or  near  the  southwestern  quarter  of  section  '2,  Bird  Island,  shows 
it  to  consist  of  gravel  and  sand  irregularly  interbedded  in  layers 
three  to  eight  inches  thick.  Its  pebbles,  more  than  half  of  which 
are  limestone,  are  mostly  less  than  two  inches  in  diameter,  but 
rarely  as  large  as  six  inches. 

Modified  drift  occurs  also  within  the  slieet  of  glacial  drift 
forming  the  thin  layers  or  seams  of  water-bearing  gravel  and 
sand  so  often  struck  in  well-digging,  and  occasionally  beds  of 
considerable  thickness.  A  section  extending  vertically  forty  feet 
in  modified  drift  that  seems  to  be  a  part  of  the  drift-sheet,  being 
probabl.y  overlain  by  till,  was  observed  in  section  27,  Camp,  at 
the  east  end  of  the  mill-dam  on  Three  Mile  creek  where  it  enters 
the  Minnesota  valle.y.  In  descending  order,  this  was  coarse 
gravel,  four  feet,  containing  pebbles  up  to  about  one  foot  in 
diameter;   gravelly  sand,   five  feet;   coarse  gravel,  cemented  by 


fflSTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  13 

iron-rust  Cliinonite),  tliruo  ft'i't ;  and  obliquely  sti-atifietl  sand  and 
fine  gravel,  about  thii'ty  feet. 

No  terraces  of  modified  drift  were  found  in  the  ])art  of  the 
Minnesota   valley  bordering   this   county. 

A  fossiliferou.s  layei-  of  jiostglacial  gravel  lies  in  the  east 
bank  of  Hawk  ereek  in  the  southeast  quarter  of  section  8,  Hawk 
Creek  towiisliip,  three  to  fifteen  I'ods  north  from  the  highway 
bridge.  The  valley  of  the  ereek  is  here  about  seventj'-five 
feet,  deep,  inclosed  by  bluffs  of  till.  In  its  bottom  a  terrace 
of  gravel  and  sand,  about  twenty  rods  wide,  borders  the  stream, 
above  which  its  Iieight  is  fifteen  feet.  On  the  slope  from  this 
terrace  to  tlie  ereek  the  outcropping  edge  of  a  layer  of  fine  gravel 
about  two  feet  thick,  six  to  eight  feet  above  the  water,  differs 
from  tiie  bank  above  and  below  by  being  cemented  with  calcare- 
ous matter,  and  in  this  bed  many  shells  are  found.  These  have 
been  determined  by  R.  Ellsworth  Call,  as  follows :  SphiPriuni 
striatinum,  Lam.,  Valvata  tricarinata.  Say,  Amnicola  limosa,  Say, 
Gyraidus  parvus,  Say,  a  Goniobasis,  probably  G.  liveseens,  Menke, 
and  representatives  of  the  genera  Unio.  Anodonta  and  C'ainpel- 
oma.  J\Ir.  Call  states  that  all  these  species  are  found  living  in 
this  region,  and  that  the  four  named  with  certainty  are  also 
common  in  the  loess  of  Iowa. 

Minerals.  M.  Abbott,  of  Hector,  some  thirty-five  years  ago, 
came  into  i)ossession  of  a  beautiful  mass  of  amethyst  crystals, 
found  about  a  foot  below  the  surface,  a  few  rods  south  of  the 
railroad  station  at  Hector.  The  entire  mass  was  about  twelve 
inches  long  and  foui-  inelies  wide,  attached  to  a  layer  of  nearly 
black  rock,  about  a  quarter  of  an  inch  thick,  m  which  were  fre- 
quent minute  crystals  of  pyrite.  For  this  base  the  amethyst  crys- 
tals rose  three  and  a  half  inches,  tlie  largest  having  a  diameter 
of  two  inches.  Some  of  these  large  crystals  contained  in  the 
faces  of  their  terminal  pyramids,  particles  and  ii'regular  ciys- 
tals  of  jiyrite,  up  to  an  eighth  of  an  inch  wide  and  a  third  of 
an  inch  long.  Tiic  mass  showed  no  signs  of  glacial  wearing. 
It  was  possibly  brought  to  this  region  by  the  Indians  or  early 
French  explorers. 

A  deposit  of  travertine,  or  "petrified  moss"  was  foinid  by 
Ole  Deason,  situated  on  the  soutli  side  of  the  wooded  ravine, 
sixty  feet  deep,  in  the  northwest  quarter  of  section  22,  Hawk 
Creek  township.  It  was  of  a  light  gray  color,  more  compact 
than  usual,  and  enclosing  impressions  and  casts  of  leaves  and 
twigs.  Two  exposures  of  it  were  seen  about  four  rods  apart 
each  showing  a  thickness  of  six  or  eight  feet. 

(Note.  The  above  resume  of  the  Geology  of  Renville  county 
was  written  by  Warren  Upham,  from  notes  gathered  by  him  in 
1879,  and  published  in  the  second  volume  of  Geological  and 
Natural  History  Survey  of  Minnesota,  1882-1885.) 


14  HISTORY  OF  REX^'ILLE  COUNTY 

UNDERGROUND  WATERS. 

Surface  Features.  The  .suiface  of  Keiiville  county  consti- 
tutes foi-  tile  must  jiart  a  very  gently  undulating  drift  plain  cov- 
ered with  a  plexus  of  lakes,  ponds,  and  .swamps.  The  monotony 
of  this  plain  is  interrupted  only  along  the  southwestern  margin, 
where  ^Minnesota  river  flows  through  a  valley  one  to  three  miles 
wide  and  17.")  to  200  feet  deep,  and  wiiere  many  short,  rugged 
tributar\'  gorges  dissect  the  level  uplands.  ^Vlueh  the  greater  part 
of  the  county  still  retains  the  gentle  prairie  tojiograjihy  inherited 
from  the  Pleistocene  epoch,  and  is  (piite  uniiioditied  liy  ]iostglaeial 
erosion. 

Surface  Deposits.  The  glacial  drift  is  found  everywhere  ex- 
cept in  i)arts  of  the  ^Minnesota  valley  and  its  tributaries,  where 
underlying  formations  are  exposed.  Owing  to  irregulai-ities  in 
the  surface  on  which  it  rests  its  thickness  varies  somewhat,  but 
in  general  increases  from  the  ^Minnesota  valley  eastward  and 
northward,  attaining  a  maxinuim  of  more  than  400  feet,  and  hav- 
iug  an  average  for  the  county  of  perhaps  250  feet.  The  follow- 
ing table  shows  the  thickness  of  the  drift  and  the  altitude  of  the 
surface  upon  which  it  rests  in  the  different  localities  of  the 
county :  Renville,  thickness  of  drift,  264  feet :  altitude  of  sur- 
face on  wliicli  drift  rests,  790  feet.  Olivia,  thickness  of  drift, 
297  feet :  altitude  of  surface  on  which  drift  rests,  770  feet.  Bird 
Island,  thickness  of  drift,  280  feet ;  altitttde  of  surface  on  which 
drift  rests.  800  feet.  Hector,  thickness  of  drift,  438;  altitude 
of  sin-face  on  which  drift  rests,  635  feet.  Buffalo  Lake,  thick- 
ness of  drift.  340  feet :  altitude  of  surface  on  which  drift  rests, 
725  feet.  ]\Iorton.  thickness  of  drift,  0:  altitude  of  surface 
on  which  drift  rests,  850  feet.  Franklin,  thickness  of  drift,  122 
feet ;  altitude  of  surface  on  wdiieh  drift  rests.  900  feet.  Fairfax, 
thickness  of  drift.  202  feet:  altitude  of  surface  on  which  drift 
rests,  840  feet. 

The  beds  of  sand  and  gi'avel,  wiiicli  occur  at  diffei-ent  depths, 
constitute  the  water-bearing  members  of  the  di-ift.  The  sttpplies 
from  the  shallow  beds  ai-e  generally  meager  and  are  readily 
affected  by  drought,  but  the  yield  of  the  deeper  zones  is  gener- 
ous and  permanent.  In  many  places  at  or  near  the  base  of  the 
drift  there  is  a  thick  stratum  of  sand  and  gravel  that  will  fur- 
nish large  quantities  of  watei".  In  the  sotithern  part  of  the  county, 
where  the  drift  is  not  as  thick  as  elsewhere,  the  underlying  for- 
mations are  sometimes  penetrated  Ijefore  a  satisfactory  supply  is 
obtained. 

Througho\it  most  of  tlie  county  the  water  rises  nearly  to  the 
surface,  but  no  flowing  wells  have  been  reported.  In  the  vicinity 
of  the  ^Minnesota  valley  the  head  is  lower  than  el.sewhere,  be- 
cause of  the  water  lost  through  the  numerous  large  springs  in 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  15 

the  valley.  The  followiiitr  table  sliow.s  the  height  to  ■which 
the  water  rises  in  the  various  village  wells:  Renville,  depth  to 
to])  of  water,  50  feet;  head  above  sea  level,  1,005  feet.  Olivia, 
(lejith  to  top  of  water,  14  feet;  head  above  sea  level,  1,065  feet. 
Bird  Island,  depth  to  top  of  water,  30  feet ;  head  above  sea  level, 
1,050  feet.  Hector,  depth  to  top  of  water,  12  feet;  head  above  sea 
level,  1,000  feet.  Buffalo  Lake,  depth  to  top  of  water,  10  feet; 
head  above  sea  level,  1,055  feet.  Frankliu,  deiJtli  to  top  of  water, 
50  feet;  head  above  sea  level,  970  feet.  Fairfax,  depth  to  top  of 
water.  80  feet;  head  above  sea  level,  960  feet. 

Throughout  the  uortlu'astei'ii  pai't  of  tlir  (•(luiity  tln'  water 
from  the  deep  beds  of  the  di'lt't  is  lower  in  total  iiiiuei-alization, 
total  hardness,  and  pennanent  hardness  than  that  from  the  shal- 
low sources.  In  the  southern  and  western  parts  of  the  county, 
where  the  tlrift  has  only  a  moderate  thickness,  the  ditference  be- 
tween the  shallow  and  deej)  waters  is  less  marked. 

The  deep-drift  water  differs  both  from  the  shallow-drift  water 
and  from  the  Cretaceous  water  which  exists  west  of  this 
county.  In  its  content  of  calcium  and  magnesium  it  is  intermedi- 
ate between  the  two — the  shallow-drift  water  containing  large 
amounts,  the  Cretaceous  water  small  amounts,  and  the  deep-drift 
water  modei-ate  amounts  of  these  elements.  In  its  content  of 
sodium  and  [jotassium  the  deep-di-ift  water  approximates  rather 
closely  to  the  shallow-drift  water,  both  containing  moderate 
quantities  of  these  I'lements,  whereas  the  Cretaceous  water  con- 
tains large  quantities.  In  its  content  of  sulphates  it  differs  sharp- 
ly from  the  other  two  in  that  it  is  low  in  this  constituent,  whereas 
they  are  very  high.  These  differences  seem  to  indicate  that  the 
deep  water  in  this  county  is  not  derived  entirely  from  the  over- 
lying drift  nor  from  the  Cretaceous  to  the  west,  nor  yet  from  a 
mingling  of  the  waters  from  these  two  sources. 

An  interesting  phenonu'uon  noticed  in  the  noi'thern  pai-t  of 
the  county  is  the  presence  of  inflammable  gas  which  is  brought  up 
ill  small  (piantities  with  the  water  from  a  number  of  the  deejjer 
wells. 

Cretaceous  and  Archean  Rocks.  .\t  \aii(Mis  points  along  the 
valley  of  the  ^Minnesota  are  found  outcrops  of  stratified  rocks  con- 
sisting of  blue,  black,  green  and  white  shales,  and  of  marl,  lime- 
stone, coal,  sand,  sandstone,  etc.  The  section  exposed  is  every- 
where thin  and  changes  within  short  distances  from  one  kind 
of  material  to  another.  In  some  ])laees  Cretaceous  fossils  have 
been  found  in  these  deposits  and  there  is  little  doubt  that  they 
are  all  Cretaceous  in  age.  The  outcrops  that  have  been  de- 
scribed in  this  county  can  be  smiiiiied  up  as  follows: 

1.  In  sec.  10.  T.  112  N.,  R.  34  \V..  on  the  north  side  of  Minne- 
sota River,  up  the  valley  of  a  small  creek,  are  outcrops,  describeit 
bv  N.  H.  Winchell,   of  concretionarv   marl    or  limv  earth   of   a 


16  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

white  color,  which  he  refers  to  the  Cretaceous.  2.  "VVarreu  Up- 
liam  described  exposures  of  Cretaceous  clay  or  shale  along  Fort 
Creek,  in  sec.  31,  T.  112  N:,  R.  32  W.  At  one  place  these  contain 
a  thin  layer  of  limestone  and  at  another  a  seam  of  clayej-  lignite. 
He  also  described  an  exposure  near  the  foot  of  the  bluff  of  the 
Minnesota  Valley,  in  the  NE.  14  sec.  34.  T.  112  N.,  R.  33  W.,  which 
consists  of  gray  Cretaceous  shale  visible  to  a  thickness  of  7  feet. 
3.  C.  W.  Hall  described  an  exposure  of  white  sandstone  along 
the  wagon  road  in  the  same  section,  and  also  in  the  gorge  of 
Birch  Coulee  at  the  border  of  sees.  32  and  33,  T.  113  N.,  R.  3-i  W., 
and  in  sec.  28,  T.  113  N.,  R.  34  W.  This  sandstone  is  exposed 
for  12  or  1.5  feet. 

Beneath  the  Cretaceous  rocks  is  a  white  or  nearly  white  uoii- 
calcareous  clay  which  consists  largely  of  kaolin.  In  some  places 
it  is  entirely  free  from  grit,  in  others  it  contains  embedded  grains 
of  quartz,  and  in  still  others  it  is  free  from  grit  at  the  top  but 
contains  embedded  quartz  grains  at  the  bottom.  This  clay  was 
described  by  X.  H.  Winchell.  It  has  been  encountered  in  many 
wells  in  Renville  county  and  in  other  parts  of  southwestern  IMin- 
nesota  where  granite  is  reached  in  drilling,  and  without  doubt 
owes  its  origin  to  the  decomposition  of  the  granitic  rocks  on 
which  it  rests.  Where  it  is  thin  and  contains  embedded  grains 
of  quartz  it  is  probably  the  undisturbed  granitic  residuum,  but 
where  it  has  a  considerable  thickness,  is  free  from  quartz  grains, 
and  contains  iuterbedded  layers  of  grit  it  has  evidently  been 
handled  by  water  and  is  a  sedimentary  rather  than  a  residual 
deposit.  If  this  sedimentation  took  place  at  the  time  when  the 
Cretaceous  seas  invaded  the  region,  as  would  seem  probable, 
it  is  a  sort  of  basal  formation  belonging  to  the  Cretaceoiis.  Evi- 
dently it  is  not  always  possible,  especially  in  well  sections,  to 
locate  the  precise  boundary  between  the  granitic  residuum  and 
the  Cretaceous.  In  the  maps  and  sections  the  white  clay  is  in- 
cluded with  the  granitic  residuum  except  where  it  is  evidently 
Cretaceous.  Thougli  this  method  is  somewhat  arbitrary  it  rep- 
resents the  facts  as  acexu'ately  as  is  feasible. 

Beneath  the  white  clay  there  is  generally  decomposed  granite, 
which  plainly  sliows  its  origin  and  which  gradually  gives  place 
downward  to  the  firm,  unaltered  rock. 

The  Cretaceous  rocks  are  nowhere  thick  and  are  absent  in 
some  parts  of  the  county :  the  white  clay  is  found  chiefly  in  the 
southern  part.  In  some  places  the  Cretaceous  rocks,  the  white 
clay,  and  the  decomposed  granite  have  all  been  swept  away  by 
the  invading  ice  sheets,  and  the  glacial  drift  rests  immediatelj- 
upon  hard  granitic  rock. 

Along  the  line  of  the  Chicago.  ^Milwaukee  and  St.  Paul  Rail- 
way, in  the  east  (Hector  and  Buffalo  Lake")  the  glacial  drift 
seems  to  rest  directly  upon  the  granite,  but  in  the  west  fRenville. 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  fOT-XTY  17 

Olivia,  and  Bird  Island  i  a  ciTtain  amount  of  shale  and  decom- 
posed granite  forms  the  transition  between  the  drift  and  the  un- 
altered granite.  It  is  not  everywhei-e  certain  at  what  point  the 
boundary  should  be  dniwii  between  the  Cretaceous  and  the  gran- 
itic residuum. 

The  following  sections  of  wells  are  j;iven  to  illustrate  the 
character  of  the  formations  in  the  soutlieiri  part  of  the  county: 

Section  at  Fairfax  (mill  well). — Yellow  boulder  clay,  thick- 
ness, 20  feet;  blue  boulder  clay,  thickness,  165  feet;  sand,  thick- 
ness, 1  foot ;  blue  boulder  clay,  thickness,  16  feet ;  white,  putty- 
like material  containing  grit  (water),  decomjiosed  granite  (wa- 
ter,)  thickness,  36  feet. 

Well  section  at  Franklin. — Yellow  boulder  clay,  and  blue 
boulder  olay,  thickness.  110  feet:  sand  and  gravel,  thickness,  12 
feet. 

Well  section  at  Morton  (Catholic  church). — Coarse  gravel, 
thickness,  40  feet;  white  clay,  thickness,  75  feet;  sand  (water), 
thickness,  3  feet:  white  clay  and  sandstone,  thickness,  27  feet. 

Section  of  well  one  mile  north  of  ]\Iorton,  on  the  farm  of 
John  Eder.  Yellow  boulder  clay  and  blue  boulder  clay,  thick- 
ness, 120  feet ;  white  clay,  thickness,  17  feet ;  sand  and  gravel 
(hard  water),  thickness,  3  feet. 

Section  of  well  two  and  a  half  miles  north  of  Morton,  on  the 
farm  of  Peter  Kavney.  Boulder  clay  and  "Hardpan,""  thick- 
ness, 120  feet;  soft,  sticky,  blue-clay  withoiit  grit,  thickness,  2 
feet;  sand   (water),  thickness,  3  feet. 

Section  of  well  four  miles  north  of  Morton,  on  the  farm  of 
John  Jones.  Yellow  boulder  clay  and  blue  boulder  clay,  thick- 
ness, 124  feet;  white  clay,  thickness,  6  feet. 

Section  of  well  foui-  miles  north  of  Franklin,  on  the  farm  of 
John  Drury.  Boukler  clay,  etc.,  thickness,  130  feet;  white  clay, 
thickness,  168  feet. 

The  following  table  shows  the  approximate  depth  to  the 
granitic  surface  and  its  altitude  above  sea  level  in  the  various 
localities  of  the  county:  Granite  Falls  (Yellow  Medicine  Coun- 
ty), depth  to  gi'anitic  rock,  at  surface;  altitude  of  granitic  sur- 
face, 900  feet.  Renville,  depth  to  granitic  rock,  325  feet;  alti- 
tude of  granitic  surface,  730  feet.  Olivia,  depth  to  granitic  rock, 
345  feet :  altitude  of  graiutic  sui'face,  730  feet.  Bird  Island,  depth 
to  granitic  rock,  345  feet;  altitude  of  granitic  surface,  730  feet. 
Hector,  depth  to  granitic  rock,  438  feet;  altitude  of  granitic 
surface,  635  feet.  Buffalo  Jjake,  dejjth  to  granitic  rock,  340  feet; 
altitude  of  granitic  surface,  725  feet.  Morton,  depth  to  granitic 
roek,  at  surface;  altitude  of  granitic  surface,  850  feet.  Frank- 
lin, (bottom  of  white  clay),  depth  to  granitic  rock,  150  feet; 
altitude  of  granitic  surface,  860  feet.    Fairfax  (bottom  of  white 


18  HISTORY  OF  EEXMLLE  COUNTY 

claj'),  depth  to  granitic  rock,  230  feet;  altitude  of  granitic  sur- 
face, 810  feet. 

In  the  nortliern  part  of  the  county  attempts  to  obtain  water 
in  the  formations  beneath  the  drift  liave  generally  failed,  but  in 
the  southern  jiart  a  number  of  wells  have  been  reported  which 
derive  their  supplies  from  laj'ers  of  sand  or  sandstone  encoun- 
tered after  the  Cretaceous  deposits  or  the  white  clay  have  been 
entered.  This  is  true  of  nearlj-  all  the  wells  whose  sections  are 
given  above.  The  mill  well  at  Fairfax,  which  derives  its  water 
from  grit  and  decomposed  granite  below  a  layer  of  the  white  ma- 
terial, received  a  rather  severe  test.  The  following  statement 
was  made  by  one  of  the  drillers  in  this  county: 

■"Beneath  the  clay  (glacial  drift)  there  is  a  white  formation, 
in  general  from  30  to  oO  feet  thick,  beneath  Avhieh  there  is  rotten 
granite  and  then  liard  red  granite.  The  white  material  is  at 
first  soft  and  putty-like  but  changes  into  a  harder  formation 
containing  grit.  This  gritty  white  uuiterial  and  the  decomposed 
granite  usually  contain  a   good   supply  of  water." 

The  water  from  beneath  the  white  clay  is  of  various  mineral 
character,  much  of  it  being  very  hard  but  some  being  similar  to 
the  deeper  drift  water. 

City  and  Villag-e  Water  Supplies.  The  larger  centers  in  Ren- 
ville county  are  all  excellently  supi)lied  with  water,  adequate  for 
household  use,  and  fire  protection.  The  water-towers  which  crown 
every  municipality  are  a  characteristic  feature  of  the  landscape. 
Private  wells  are  still  in  extensive  use  in  the  city  and  the  villages 
because  for  cofi:"ee  making  and  a  few  other  purposes  the  supply 
from  private  wells  is  much  sujiei-ior  to  the  supply  from  the 
artesian  wells. 

Farm  Water  Supplies.  In  the  northern  part  of  the  county 
most  of  the  farms  are  supplied  from  shallow  bored  wells  which 
end  in  the  upper  portion  of  the  drift  and  yield  meager  and  un- 
certain quantities  of  hard  water,  but  there  are  a  few  deeper 
drilled  wells  similar  to  the  village  anil  railway  wells  along  the 
Chicago,  ^Milwaukee  and  St.  Paul  Railway.  The  deep  wells  are 
superior  to  the  shallow  ones  in  the  following  respects:  (1)  The 
water  is  softer,  (2)  the  yield  is  larger  and  more  permanent,  and 
(3)  there  is  less  danger  of  pollution.  In  the  southern  part  of 
the  county  there  are  more  drilled  wells.  These  range  from  2  to 
6  inches  in  diameter,  and  from  less  than  100  to  more  than  300 
feet  in  depth,  but  are  generally  between  100  and  150  feet.  They 
generally  end  in  the  glacial  drift,  but  a  few  penetrate  the  under- 
lying formations,  as  has  already  been  explained.  The  shallow 
wells  have  hard  water  but  some  of  the  deeper  ones  yield  water 
which  is  softer.  Six-inch  drilled  wells  are  recommended  for 
farm  purposes  in  all   parts  of  the  county. 


HISTORY  OF  REN  VI  LI.  K  COUNTY  19 

Summary  and  Analysis.  'I'lii-  piincipal  sources  of  water  are 
the  deposits  of  saml  and  gravel  which  oecur  at  various  depths 
intei-bedded  witli  tile  boulder  elay  or  lying  iiiiniediately  below 
it.  The  shallow  deposits  furiiisli  only  small  sui)pli<'s  but  the 
deeper  ones  generally  yield  abundantly.  ^Moreover,  the  shallow 
water  is  hard  and  the  deepei-  watn-  is  eonnnoidy  mueh  softer, 
especially  in  the  northeastern  part  of  the  eonnty.  Below  the 
glacial  drift  the  ili'ill  generally  ]ienetrates  thin  layers  of  blue 
or  green  shale  "soapstone,"  a  Mliite  elay,  or  ordinary  decom- 
posed granite.  In  the  southo-n  jiarl  of  Ihe  eounty  wain-  is  ob- 
tained in  some  places  from  sandy  layers  in  these  beds,  but  at 
best  they  constitute  oidy  an  uncertain  source.  Granite  has  fre- 
quently been  enrounlei'ed  at  depths  ranging  u|i  to  4.')0  feet. 
It  will  not  yield  water  and  no  water-bearing  formation  occurs 
beneath  it. 

(Note.  The  foregoing  article  regarding  the  Underground 
Waters  of  the  County  is  based  on  a  governnnnit  report  on  the 
''Underground  Waters  of  Southern  IMinnesota,"  by  0.  E.  Meiii- 
zer.  jjublished  in  llt(l7. 

Natural  Resources.  The  greatest  natural  resource  of  Ren- 
ville county  is  in  its  fertile  soil.  Waterpowers  have  been  devel- 
oped in  several  places.  Tiie  natural  groves  in  the  ravines  ami 
along  the  watercourses,  and  the  domestic  groves  on  the  prairies 
furnish  abundant  timber  supply.  Lime  inis  been  buined  at 
various  times  from  lime-stone  boulders;  ;ind  biicdv  has  been  at 
times  an  important  industry.  Some  <(uarrying  has  been  carried 
on,  and  especially  in  the  neighboi'hood  of  ilort(ui  some  excellent 
granite  h;is  been  obtained.  Morton  is  the  only  ]ilace  in  the  state 
where  gneiss  is  (juarried.  The  water-sujjply,  as  already  noted, 
is  abundant.  Ti'accs  of  gas  have  been  found,  the  old  village 
well  at  Hectoi'  being  especially  uotalile  in  this  i-egard.  However 
geologists  declare  that  such  gas  is  mei'cly  the  I'esult  of  vegetable 
decomposition,  and  that  tiu're  is  no  gas  to  be  found  in  commer- 
cial ((uantities  in  this  i-egion. 


20  IIISTOKV   (»K  KK.WIl.l.E  COrXTY 

CliAPTEK  11. 
PREHISTORIC  INHABITANTS. 

Nature's  Paradise — The  Coming  of  Man — The  Eskimo — The 
Mound  Builders — Purpose  of  the  Mounds — Life  and  Habits 
of  the  Mound  Builders — Location  of  the  Mounds — Excavations 
and  Discoveries. 

Sc'ienti.st.s  dcclari'  that  in  tlic  Glacial  period,  tiiis  n^gion  was 
several  times  covered  with  a  great  ice  sheet  at  recurrent  intervals. 
When  for  the  last  time  the  glacier  receded,  and  its  melting 
waters  subsided,  it  left  behind  an  area  that  in  a  few  years  be- 
came a  wonderfully  diversified  and  beautiful  region.  Verdure 
took  the  place  of  glaring  ice  and  swirling  waters.  The  smiling 
expanses  of  gently  rolling  prairie,  beautiful  and  virgin,  dipping 
here  and  there  into  swales  and  pools,  or  even  into  sparkling  lakes, 
covered  in  the  siunnier  with  luxuiiant  grass  and  spangled  with 
flowers,  were  caressed  by  perfumed  bi-eezes,  untrod  by  human 
foot,  and  unmarred  by  human  handiwork.  In  tlie  ravines  and 
along  the  watercourses  were  dense  forests  and  tangled  under- 
brush. And  this  varieil  landsca|)e  fairly  quivered  with  animal 
life.  The  American  bison,  eoinmonly  called  the  Ituffalo,  ranged 
the  prairies,  countless  bii'ds  of  all  kinds  flew  over  its  surface, 
great  flocks  of  watei'fowl  lived  in  its  nmrshes  and  pools.  In  the 
edges  of  the  wooded  ravines,  aiitlered  aniinals  such  as  the  deer 
and  the  elk,  and  the  lai'ger  fur-l)earing  animals  such  as  the  bear, 
were  found  in  greatest  profusion.  All  tlie  smaller  animals  com- 
mon to  this  climate  found  a  home  here.  Prairie  aiid  woodland 
presented  a  scene  of  teeming  life  and  ceaseless  animal  activity. 

A  country  so  bountiful  and  inviting  to  man,  wiietlu'r  ])rimitive 
or  civilized,  would  remain  nninliabite(l  only  while  undiscovered. 
At  some  period  of  the  earth's  history,  mankind  in  some  form 
took  up  its  aliode  in  what  is  now  Renville  county.  How  many 
ages  distant  that  iiei'iod  was  no  one  can  tell.  Tt  is  evident  that 
man  followed  very  closely  the  receding  of  the  last  glacier,  if  in- 
deed he  had  not  existed  here  previous  to  that  time.  A  discussion 
of  the  possibilities  of  the  existence  of  man  in  Minnesota  during 
Glacial,  Inter-Glacial  and  Pre-Glacial  ages  is  beyond  the  scope 
of  this  work.  It  has  been  made  a  sjiecial  subject  of  study  by 
several  Minnesota  savants,  and  many  notable  articles  have  been 
written  concerning  evidences  that  have  been  discovered. 

ilany  scholars  ai'e  of  the  O|)inion  that  in  all  probability  the 
first  inhabitants  of  the  nortln-rn  jiart  of  the  United  States  were, 
or  were  closely  related  to  the  ICskimo.  While  the  data  are  very 
meagre,   they  all  point   that   way.     The   Eskimos  seem  to  have 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COIN  TV  21 

i-eiriaiiird  on  tlir  Atlantic  scaliDai-il  as  lati'  as  the  arrival  i)f  tlie 
Sfaiiilinavian  iliscovercrs  of  the  cK'Vcntli  eentui-y.  foi-  tlicir  do- 
scriptiou  of  tlie  aborigines  wlioni  they  call  "skriiliiigar"  (a 
term  of  eoutempt  about  equivalent  to  '"runts")  is  much  more 
consoiiaiit  with  tin-  assumption  that  these  were  Eskimos  than 
Indians. 

So  possibly  it  is  pei'missible  to  i)icture  the  first  liuinan  inliabi- 
tants  of  Renville  county  as  a  small  yellowisli-brown  skin-clad 
race,  identical  with  the  qiiartz  workers  of  Little  Falls,  slipi)ing 
arouuil  nimbly  and  (piictly  in  the  woods  and  dells,  subsisting 
mainly  on  lish,  but  also  partly  on  tlie  chase.  Their  homes  were 
doubtless  of  the  simplest  descriptions,  and  their  culture  not 
above  absolute  savagery. 

The  Eskimos  seem  to  have  followed  more  or  less  closely  the 
edge  of  the  last  receding  glacier.  Whether  they  were  forced  out 
by  a  stronger  race  or  whether  they  found  the  bleak  shores  of 
the  Arctic  seas  more  suited  to  their  physical  make-up  than  the 
fertile  regions  further  south  is  only  a  matter  of  conjecture. 

Scholars  are  of  the  opinion  that  the  next  inhabitants  of 
]\Iinnesota  were  tribes  of  the  Siouan  stock,  in  other  words  the 
ancestors  of  the  present  Sioux  (Dakota)  Indians.  These  peoples 
of  the  Siouan  stock  appear  to  have  built  the  mounds  of  southern 
^Minnesota,  i'ossibly  they  lived  in  Renville  cotmty.  These  Siouan 
peoi)ie  were  possibly  driven  out  by  the  ])eoples  of  the  Algonquin 
stock,  whereupon  they  eventually  took  u])  their  homes  in  the 
neigliborhood  of  the  upper  valley  of  the  Ohio  river  and  possibly 
elsewhere.  How  nuiny  centni'ies  they  lived  there  it  is  impossible 
even  to  estimate.  In  the  nirantinic  the  Algonquin  ])eoples  prob- 
ably occupied  the  ^Minnesota  region,  and  possibly  Renville  coun- 
ty. They  did  not  make  mounds.  Some  five  hundi'cd  years  ago 
the  Siouan  Mound  Builders  were  driven  out  from  their  homes  in 
the  uppei'  Ohio  )-egion  where  they  had  erected  the  mounds  that 
are  now  the  wonder  of  tlie  world,  antl  a  i>art  of  them  found  their 
way  to  the  homes  of  tiieir  ancestors  in  the  nppir  Mississippi 
and  the  ^Minnesota  I'iver  i-egion.  The  mouiuls  built  here  by  tiiese 
peoples  were  inferior  to  the  ones  built  by  their  ancestors.  In 
coming  up  the  valley  it  is  possible  that  these  Mound  Builders 
drove  from  tlie  ^Minnesota  regions  the  intruding  Algonquins. 

The  Siouan  ^louiid  Buihlers,  returning  some  live  hundred 
years  ago  from  the  Ohio  region  were  doubtless  the  builders  of 
the  moinids  in  RcTiville  county,  though  there  are  possibly  some 
mounds  in  this  count.v  built  b\-  the  Siouan  people  during  their 
previous  occupancy  of  the  region. 

The  Mound  Builders.  Not  so  nuuiy  years  ago,  there  was  a 
wide-spriiKl  iiclicf  that  the  Mound  Builders  were  a  mysterious 
people  of  high  culture  resembling  the  Aztecs,  and  differing  from 
the  Indian  in  race,  habits  and  customs.     Now  scholars  are  luiani- 


22  PIISTOKY  OF  KEN\-1LLE  COUNTY 

inoiis  ill  tlu'ir  belief  that  the  Moiiiul  Builders  were  merely  the 
ancestors  of  the  Indians,  doubtless,  as  already  related,  of  the 
Sioux  Indians,  and  not  characteristically  differing  from  tliem. 
These  Mound  Builders  are  the  earliest  race  of  whose  actual  resi- 
dence in  Kenville  county  we  have  absolute  evidence.  While 
Renville  cannot  boast  of  mounds  of  such  gigantic  proportions  as 
some  other  parts  of  the  I'nited  States,  nor  of  such  grotesque 
formations  as  the  serpent  mound  of  Ohio,  yet  the  moiinds  of 
the  county  are  sufficient  in  number,  kind  and  distribution,  to 
present  a  rich  field  for  archaeological  inquiry,  as  well  as  supply- 
ing evidence  that  Renville  county  Avas  well  populated  by  this 
ancient  people. 

Tlie  larger  groujis  are  invariably  situated  near  the  water- 
courses and  usually  on  the  lofty  terraces  that  give  a  command- 
ing view  of  magnificent  prospects.  Such  a  distribution  of  the 
mounds  finds  its  explanation  in  the  fact  that  the  river  banks 
afford  excellent  sites  for  habitations,  and  the  rivers  aff'ord  routes 
of  travel  in  times  of  i)eaee  and  war.  Above  all  the  .streams 
furnish  two  substances  absolutely  necessary  for  the  maintenance 
of  life,  namely  water  and  food.  The  Mound  Builder  was  not  slow 
in  picking  out  picturesque  places  as  a  location  for  his  village 
sites.  Tlie  distribution  of  the  mounds  bears  ample  proof  of 
this.  Anyone  who  visits  the  groups  cannot  fail  to  be  convinced 
that  the  Mound  Builders  were  certainly  guided  in  the  selection 
of  tlie  location  for  tlie  mounds  by  an  unerring  sense  of  beauti- 
ful scenery  and  a  high  appreciation  and  instinctive  love  of  nature 
as  well  as  by  otiirr  factors. 

Purpose  of  the  Mounds.  The  mounds  of  Renville  county  are 
both  oblong  and  round,  varying  from  a  swell  of  land  to  several 
feet  in  height.  Other  varieties  have  also  been  found.  The  ar- 
rangement of  mounds  in  the  various  groups  does  not  seem  to 
depend  on  any  definite  rule  of  order,  but  seems  to  result  from  a 
process  of  inouml  building,  extending  over  a  considerable  period 
of  time,  each  site  for  a  mound  being  selected  by  the  builders 
according  to  the  space,  material,  or  topography  of  the  locality. 

Undoubtedly  each  mound  was  placed  -for  some  definite  pui'- 
pose  on  the  spot  where  it  is  found  today,  but  wliat  the  purpose 
of  any  particular  mound  was  may  be  difficult  to  say.  The  spade 
often  partially  tells  us  what  we  want  to  know,  but  sometimes  it 
leaves  us  as  much  as  ever  in  the  dark.  When  the  interior  of  a 
mound  reveals  liuirian  bones,  then  the  inference  is  that  tlu'  mound 
served  as  a  tomb,  but  intrusive  burials,  that  is  burials  made  long 
after  the  mounds  wcit  built,  coniiilicate  the  problem.  But  when 
a  mound  can  be  opened  A\'ithout  revealing  any  trace  of  human 
remains  or  of  artificial  articles,  it  seems  safe  to  conclude  that  not 
all  the  mounds  wer-e  built  for  burial  purposes.  The  erection  of 
such  ;i  large  nuiiiber  of  mounds  as  exist  along  the  Mississippi  and 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  23 

its  tributaries  in  Minnesota  must  have  required  an  enormous  ex- 
penditure of  time  and  labor.  The  tools  with  which  all  the  work 
was  done  were  probably  wooden  spades  rudely  shaped,  stone 
hoes  and  similar  imj)lements  which  indicate  a  low  degree  of  in- 
dustrial culture.  Where  the  whole  village  population  turned  out 
for  a  holiday  or  funeial,  a  large  mound  coidd  be  built  in  a  much 
shorter  time  than  if  the  work  was  performed  by  only  a  few 
individuals.  The  surface  of  the  laiul  adjoining  the  mounds  in 
Renville  county,  and  in  fact  all  the  moiinds  of  this  vicinity,  fre- 
quently shows  plain  evidences  of  where  the  material  was  ob- 
tained for  the  construction  of  the  mound.  All  in  all,  the  regu- 
larity, symmetry  and  even  mathematical  exactness  with  which 
the  mounds  are  built  show  considerable  skill  and  taste.  The 
reader  can  picture  to  himself  the  funeral  scenes,  the  wailings 
of  the  sorrowing  sui-vivors,  and  the  flames  of  the  funeral  pyres 
which  were  sometimes  built.  Or  one  can  picture  the  mourning 
relatives  waiting  beneath  the  tree  in  which  the  body  has  been 
suspended  on  a  seaifold  while  the  elements  are  stripping  the 
bones  of  flesh  pi'e|)aratory  to  their  interment. 

Life  and  Habits  of  the  Mound  Builders.  Modern  scientists 
iniitc  in  th<'  belief  that  the  IMounil  Jiuiidci's  were  Indians,  the 
ancestors  of  the  Indians  that  the  early  settlers  found  here.  The 
old  theory  of  a  race  of  Moimd  Builders  superior  in  intellect  and 
intelligence  to  the  Indian  has  been  exploded  by  archaeological 
research,  thougli  a  few  of  the  oldei'  text  books  advance  the  now 
obsolete  theory. 

The  evidences  that  the  race  of  ]\Iouii(l  Uuildeis  was  a  race  of 
genuine  Indians  are  many.  Indians  are  known  to  have  built 
mounds.  The  articles  found  in  the  mounds  are  the  same  as  the 
articles  found  on  the  Indian  village  sites  nearby.  Invariably  a 
large  group  of  mounds  has  nearby  evidences  of  sueli  a  village. 
The  articles  found  in  the  mounds  and  on  the  village  sites  arc  such 
as  the  Indians  used. 

We  do  not  know  what  hnnmn  beings  flrst  beheld  the  beauti- 
ful lakes  and  prairies  of  Renville  county  and  claimed  them  as 
tlieir  home.  We  may  lu'ver  be  able  to  look  be\-oii(l  the  veil  or 
penetrate  the  mists  that  enshroud  the  history  of  the  past,  yet 
we  are  not  left  in  utter  darkness.  The  relics  tell  us  many  in- 
teresting stories. 

Tomahawks,  battle  clubs,  spear  heads  and  arrows  signify  war 
and  the  chase.  The  entire  absence  of  great  architectural  remains 
show  that  the  JIoiuul  Builders  lived  in  frail  homes.  The  dearth 
of  agricultural  implements  speaks  of  the  absence  of  any  but  the 
most  primitive  farming.  Ash-pits  and  fireplaces  mark  the  bare 
ground  as  the  aboriginal  stove.  Net-sinkers  imply  the  iise  of 
nets;  ice  axes  the  chopping  of  holes  in  the  ice  to  procure  water; 
stone    axes,    a    eiuinsy    device    foi'   s]ilitting   wood:    ston(>    knives 


24  HISTORY  OF  KEXVJLLE  OOl'MTY 

were  for  sealpiug,  cutting  meat  aud  leather  and  twigs;  countless 
flakes  mark  the  ancient  arrow  maker's  workshop;  cracked  bones 
show  the  savages"  love  for  marrow;  shell  beads,  charms  and 
ornaments  iu  the  shape  of  fish  and  other  designs  reveal  a  primi- 
tive desire  for  ornamentation ;  chisels  and  gouges  recall  the  mak- 
ing of  eauoes ;  sun-dried  pottery  made  of  clay  mixed  with  coarse 
sand,  clam  shells  or  powdered  granite  and  marked  with  rows 
of  dots  made  with  a  stick,  thumbnail  or  other  objects,  or  else 
marked  with  lines,  V-shaped  figures  or  chevrons,  all  are  an 
index  of  rather  a  crude  state  of  pottery  making.  The  hand  siij)- 
plied  the  lathe  and  the  wheel. 

All  of  these  things  tell  us  something  of  the  habits  and  con- 
dition of  the  Mound  Builders  and  are  further  evidence  that  the 
Mound  Builders  ditt'ered  in  no  important  manner  from  tlie  In- 
dians found  lit-n-  liy  the  early  explorers. 

The  people  were  rude,  semi-agricultural,  warlike,  ignorant  of 
all  metals  except  copper,  hunters  with  stone  arrow  and  spear, 
naked  in  warm  weather  and  clothed  with  the  skins  of  the  butf'alo 
and  bear  in  winter.  Their  skill  in  art  was  confined  to  the  making 
of  such  domestic  utensils  and  such  weapons  of  war  and  of  the 
chase  as  were  tleinanded  for  the  personal  comforts  and  physical 
necessities.  The.v  have  left  no  literature,  and  these  heaps  of  earth 
and  a  few  rude  pictures  scraped  in  soft  stones,  together  with  a 
few  crude  relics,  are  our  only  source  of  information  regarding 
this  once  powerful  people. 

Location  of  Mounds.  Thr  artificial  mounds  of  Renvilh-  county 
have  never  been  adequately  surveyed  or  excavated,  though  many 
interesting  studies  have  been  made  of  tliem.  A  volume  entitled 
■"The  Aborigines  of  Minnesota,"  ])ul)lished  by  tiie  ^Minnesota 
State  Historical  Society  in  1911,  contains  a  valuable  i'es\iiue  of 
these  explorations  and  studies  as  follows : 

Mounds  near  Three-mile  creek,  southeast  quarter,  section  27, 
township  112,  range  33,  about  100  feet  above  the  bottondand  of 
the  Minnesota  river,  on  cultivated  land.  This  is  a  grouji  of  nine 
tiunidi  loosely  disti'ilnited  along  the  blufl"'.  the  largest  being  fifty- 
foiir  feet  wide  and  three  feet  high,  there  lieiiig  two  of  this  size. 
Surveyed  November  7,  1887. 

Mounds  two  and  a  half  miles  above  Hawk  Ci-eek,  northwest 
quarter,  northeast  ((uartei'.  section  19,  townshij)  11'),  range  38, 
about  ninety  feet  above  the  river.  This  grouj)  embraces  three 
moinids,  of  which  one  is  broad-elongated.  Surveyed  October  25, 
1887. 

Group  near  the  mouth  of  Beaver  creek,  (a)  west  side,  north- 
east quarter,  northeast  quarter,  section  28,  township  113,  range 
35,  on  eiiltivated  laud,  about  100  feet  above  the  river.  The  group 
contains  tliree  small  mounds,  one  being  elongated,  (b)  South 
half,  northeast  quarter,  section  27,  east  side,  about   ninety  feet 


INDIAN  I  IIIKF 


TH>:   NFVV   yAf" 


HISTORY  OF  KFA'VIIJ.E  CorXTV  25 

above  the  bottoinlaiid.  Tliis  group  eiiihi-aces  but  two  tuimili, 
one  of  wliicli  lias  a  short  extension  sixteen  feet  wide  and  one 
foot  high. 

In  Renville  eouuty  the  following  lone  mounds  have  been  noted 
and  UH'asured,  viz.:  Six  miles  below  Birch  ("ooley,  southwest 
quai'ter,  section  17.  townslii])  112,  range  38,  about  130  feet  above 
the  river;  forty-two  feet  by  four  and  a  half  feet. 

Two  and  a  half  miles  below  Birch  Cooley  ereek.  northeast 
((uartei'.  section  10,  township  112-34,  about  125  feet  above  the 
bottomland :  twenty-five  feet  by  one  and  a  half  feet. 

Two  miles  below  Birch  Cooley  cfeeK'.  northeast  quarter,  north- 
west quarter,  section  10,  township  112.  lange  34,  about  125  feet 
above  the  bottomland ;  thirty  feet  by  two  feet. 

Three-quai'ters  of  a  mile  west  of  Bireli  Cooley  creek,  south- 
east quarter,  northwest  quarter,  section  32,  township  113,  range 
34,  about  100  feet  above  the  bottomland;  thii'ty  feet  by  two  feet. 

Opposite  Yellow  Medicine,  west  half,  northwest  quarter,  sec- 
tion 19,  township  115,  range  38,  about  ninety  feet  above  the  rivei  , 
forty-six  feet  by  two  and  a  half  feet. 

Opposite  YelloM-  ^Icdicine,  west  half,  northwest  quarter,  scl.- 
tiou  20,  township  11-"),  lange  38,  about  ninety  feet  above  the  bot 
toni ;  fifty  feel  by  two  and  a  half  feet. 

Opi)osite  Yellow  .Medicine,  southeast  quarter,  southwest  quat- 
ter,  section  18,  township  11."),  range  38,  about  seventy  feet  above 
the  bottomland;  a  lone,  broad-elongated  nioimd  ;  sixty-six  feet 
bv  thirtv-six  feet  bv  two  anil  a  half  feet. 


CHAPTER   TIT. 
INDIAN  OCCUPANCY  AND  TREATIES. 

The  Dakotas — Life,  History  and  Habits — Wapetons — Sissetons — 
Treaties — Visit  to  Washington — Treaties  of  Prairie  du  Chien 
— Doty  Treaty — Preliminaries  to  the  Final  Session — Treaty 
of  Traverse  Des  Sioux — Ramsey  Investigation — Treaty  of  1858 
— Agencies  and  Forts. 

The  archeology  ami  anthi'ojiology  of  tlu'  American  Indian  is 
still  in  its  infancy.  But  a  few  fundamental  facts  stand  out  in 
bold  i-elief.  We  are  told  by  scientists  that  man  is  of  great 
antiquit\'  in  .America;  and  tli;it  though  the  aborigines'  blood  is 
doubtless  mixed  with  later  arrivals  in  many  localities  and  tribes, 
still,  barring  the  Eskimo,  the  fundamental  race  characteristics  are 
the  same  from  Hudson  Bay  to  Patagonia.  Hence  a  common 
American  ancestry  of  great  antiquity  nnist  ])r  predicated  of  the 
whole  Indian  i-aee. 


26  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

If  an  imaginary  line  is  drawn  east  and  west  tlirough  the  south- 
ern boundary  of  Virginia,  then  except  for  the  northM-est  corner 
of  British  America,  tlie  Red  Men  in  the  territory  north  of  this 
line  and  east  of  the  Rocky  mountains,  including  the  larger  part 
of  the  United  States  and  British  America,  are  and  have  been  for 
centuries  almost  exclusively  of  just  three  linguistic  stocks:  Iro- 
quioan,  Siouan  and  Algonquian.  The  one  reason  for  classing 
these  Indians  into  three  ethnic  stocks  is  th^t  the  vocabularies  of 
their  languages  do  not  seem  to  have  a  common  origin.  Otherwise 
these  Indians  are  so  familiar  physically  and  psychically  that  even 
an  expert  will  at  times  find  it  hard  to  tell  from  appearance  to 
which  stock  an  individual  belongs.  These  three  stocks  are  in 
mental,  moral  and  physical  endowment  the  peers  of  any  American 
aborigines,  though  in  culture  they  were  far  behind  the  Peruvians, 
Mexicans  and  the  nations  in  the  southwestern  United  States. 
But  their  native  culture  is  not  so  insignificant  as  is  the  popular 
impression.  Except  the  far  western  bands  who  subsisted  on  the 
buffalo,  they  practiced  agriculture:  and  in  many,  if  not  in  most 
tribes,  the  products  of  the  chase  and  fishing  supplied  less  than 
half  their  sustenance ;  their  moccasins,  tanned  skin  clothing,  bows 
and  arrows,  canoes,  pottery  and  jtersonal  ornaments  evinced  a 
great  amount  of  skill  and  not  a  little  artistic  taste.  Their  houses 
were  not  always  the  conical  tipi  of  bark  or  skins,  but  were  often 
very  durable  and  comj)aratively  comfortable  and  constructed  of 
timber  or  earth  or  even  stone. 

The  Dakotas.  As  to  how  these  stocks  came  originally  into 
this  territory  there  is  no  certain  knowledge  but  much  uncertain 
speculation.  Here  we  shall  be  content  to  start  with  the  relatively 
late  and  tolerably  probable  event  of  their  living  together,  in  the 
eastern  part  of  the  United  States,  some  five  centuries  ago.  Algon- 
quians  lived  on  the  Atlantic  slope,  the  Iroquois  i)erhaps  south  of 
Lake  Erie  and  Ontario,  and  the  Siouans  in  the  Tipper  Ohio  valley. 
These  Siouan  peoples  had  possibly  previously  occupied  the  upper 
Mississippi  icgion,  but  for  some  reason  had  left  there.  At  any 
rate,  a  century  or  so  before  the  arrival  of  Columbus,  found  them 
for  the  most  part  in  the  upper  Ohio  valley.  Wliat  peoples,  if  any, 
were  in  the  meantime  living  on  the  j)lains  of  the  upper  ^Mississippi 
is  not  definitely  known.  Of  the  Siouan  peoples  we  are  interested 
in  the  main  division  of  the  Sioux,  more  properly  the  Dakotas. 
Probably  because  of  the  jjressure  of  the  fierce  and  well  organized 
Iroquois,  the  Sioux,  perhaps  about  1400  A.  D.,  began  slowly  to 
descend  the  Ohio  valley.  Kentucky  and  the  adjacent  parts  of 
Ohio,  Indiana  and  Illinois  were  certainly  at  that  tim(>  a  primitive 
man's  paradise,  and  the  anabasis  begun  under  compulsion  was 
enthusiastically  continued  from  choice.  They  reached  the  con- 
fluence of  the  Oliio  and  the  Mississippi.  Probably  here  they  fii'st 
encountered  the  buffalo,  or  bison,  in  large  numbers.     Tlie  spirit 


TIISTOUV  OF  KKWTIJ.E  COUNTY  27 

of  adveiitiirt'  aiul  the  pi-cssint'  of  au  increasing  population  sent 
large  bands  up  the  Mississippi.  When  the  Missouri  was  reached 
no  doubt  some  followed  that  stream.  Those  who  kept  to  the 
Jlississippi  were  rewarded  as  they  ascended  the  stream  by  coming 
into  what  was  from  the  viewpoint  of  primitive  man  a  richer  coun- 
try. Coming  up  into  Minnesota  a  forest  region  was  encountered 
soon  after  jiassing  tlirough  bcautiftd  Lake  Pepin.  Soon  a  roar- 
ing cataract  blocked  tlie  way  of  tlie  Dakota  canoes.  St.  Anthony 
Falls,  of  whicli  now  scarce  a  remnant  is  left,  thundered  over  its 
ledge  among  the  leafy  boskage  of  banks  and  islands.  Slowly 
but  surely  up  the  stream  pushed  the  Uakotas.  Kum  river  was 
reached,  and  its  friendly  banks  were  doubtless  for  many  seasons 
dotted  with  the  Dakota's  tipis.  But  wheu  the  hunter-explorer's 
eyes  first  rested  on  the  wide  expanse  of  Mille  Lacs,  he  rightly 
felt  he  had  found  a  primitive  paradise.  M'dewakan,  the  Spirit 
lake,  the  lake  of  spiritual  spell,  soon  became  the  site  of  perhaps 
the  largest  permanent  encampment  or  headquarters  of  the  Sioux. 
From  there  they  scattered  wide.  Some  of  the  bands  discovered 
the  upi)er  Minnesota  river  region  and  here  settled.  These  return- 
ing Sioux,  it  is  believed,  were  the  builders  of  all  or  nearly  all  of 
the  Renville  county  mounds,  though  some  may  have  been  built 
by  their  ancestors  before  tliey  were  expelled  many  centuries 
earlier.  The  Renville  county  mounds,  though  less  in  size  and 
smaller  in  number,  have  the  same  interest  as  those  found  in  Ohio, 
and  whicli  this  same  people  ai-e  believed  to  have  constructed. 

The  name  "•  Dakota,''  which  these  Indians  applied  to  them- 
selves, means  "joined  together  in  friendly  compact."  "Sioux" 
is  a  contraction  of  the  word  Nadowessioux  (variously  spelled), 
the  French  version  of  the  Chippewa  word  meaning  "Little 
Adders,"  or  figuratively,  "enemies."' 

Tlie  Sioux  were  in  many  ways  the  highest  type  of  the  North 
American  Indian,  and  were  physically,  perhaps,  among  the  highest 
tyi)es  that  mankind  has  reached.  Living  free  lives  close  to  the 
democracy  of  natui-e,  they  saw  no  advantages  in  organized  govern- 
ment;  living  on  the  boundless  sweeps  of  the  prairies  and  in  the 
limitless  forests,  they  saw  no  virtue  in  that  civilization  which 
shackles  mankind  to  a  daily  routine  of  i)etty  duties  and  circum- 
scribes life  to  the  confinement  of  crowded  cities  and  villages. 

Tlieic  was  710  written  code  of  law.  Tradition  and  custom 
alone  dictated  the  conduct  and  morals  of  the  Sioux.  The  spirit 
of  this  traditional  law  was  as  stern  as  the  Mosaic  law  of  the  Holy 
Scriptures,  "an  eye  for  an  eye  and  a  tooth  for  a  tooth."  A  favor 
was  never  forgotten,  Jieither  was  a  wrong.  Possibly  no  race  has 
ever  been  so  true  to  its  standards  as  was  the  Sioux.  Punishment 
swift  and  sure  was  meted  out  to  those  who  departed  from  these 
precepts. 

Just  as  Jehovah  revealed  himself  to  the  Hebrews  as  a  spirit. 


28  IIISTOEY  OF  RENVILLE  COr.XTY 

permeatiiifr  all  space  and  all  matter,  the  great  Creator  who 
breathed  iu  and  through  all  tilings,  so  had  the  Great  Spirit 
revealed  himself  to  the  Sioux.  The  Sioux  found  God  everywhere. 
The  waterfalls,  the  winds,  the  heat,  the  cold,  the  rains  and  the 
snows,  the  trees  and  the  birds,  the  animals  and  the  reptiles,  all 
were  "wakon, '"  spiritual  mysteries  in  which  God  spoke  to  them. 

In  an  age  when  civilized  Europeans  were  having  their  blood 
drawn  fi-oiii  tlii'ir  veins  by  a  barber  as  a  panacea  for  all  diseases, 
and  believing  implicitly  in  the  curing  powers  of  witches"  brews 
made  of  such  ingredients  as  snake "s  eyes  and  rabbit's  claws,  the 
Sioux  was  bringing  tiic  ailing  back  to  health  by  the  use  of  sweat 
baths  and  simple  herbs. 

But  with  the  coming  of  the  white  man  a  great  ciuinge  took 
place.  Outspoken,  absolutely  truthful,  tlie  Sioux  was  no  match 
for  the  lyiug  tongue  of  the  white,  by  which  he  was  robbed  of 
much  more  than  by  the  white  man's  gun  and  powder.  He  was 
no  match  against  the  insidious  vices  of  alcohol  and  lust  which  the 
white  man  introduced. 

The  life  of  the  red  man  before  he  came  in  contact  with  our 
so-called  civilization,  and  even  later  when  he  had  secured  luithiug 
more  than  his  gun,  knife  and  kettle,  was,  though  iirimitive  and 
coarse,  not  mean  nor  base.  The  Indian  was  healthy  and  sound 
in  mind  and  hotly,  wholesome  as  the  woods  through  which  he 
hunted. 

He  was  jjoor  and  improvident,  it  is  true,  living  from  hand  to 
mouth,  and  taking  little  thought  of  the  morrow.  But  this  was 
not  moral  noi-  i)hysical  shifth-ssncss,  it  was  a  part  of  his  rrligion. 
His  creed  pledged  him  to  poverty;  with  Goil's  boundless  riches 
spread  aroimd  about  him.  iiis  faith  forbade  his  taking  more  than 
was  uecessar^•  for  his  iimucdiatr  needs.  No  one  was  richer  than 
another.  All  footl  was  shared.  A  frii'nd  was  always  welcome 
to  help  himself  at  any  time. 

The  chief  was  usually  the  man  who  by  force  of  personality 
could  command  sufficient  respect  to  hold  the  j)osition.  While 
there  is  no  evidence  that  the  office  of  chief  was  hereditary,  never- 
theless from  the  coming  of  the  white  man  each  tribe  seems  to 
have  had  its  royal  dynasty,  handing  the  ruling  power  of  chief 
from  father  to  son  through  several  generations.  War  and  hunting 
parties,  however,  were  led  by  any  brave  who  could  gather  a 
sufficient  number  of  friends  about  him.  One  brave  might  be 
chief  of  one  expedition  and  another  brave  of  a  succeeding  expe- 
dition, while  the  permanent  chief  of  the  baud  seems  to  have 
occupied  more  of  a  civil  position,  deciding  ilisjiutes  and  giving 
counsel. 

Wabasha,  living  at  Ke-ox-ah  (Winona),  seems  to  have  been 
the  great  overlord  of  the  .'\Ie(lawakanton  Sioux,  and  he  likewise 


IITSTOKV  OF  REXVII.LE  COrXTV  29 

si'onis  to  have  been  iTcogiiizi'd  as  ruler  by  many  of  tlic  other 
brauches  of  the  Sioux.  Each  l)and  likewise  liatl  a  pirinanent 
chief,  and  as  noted  each  expedition  that  M-as  made  ii;id  a  tem- 
porary chief. 

All  ill  all,  the  linliiin  as  he  was  before  the  coiiiiiif>;  of  the  white 
man,  is  deserving  of  all  lionor  and  respect.  And  horrible  though 
the  warfare  was  tliat  he  later  waged  on  the  wliites  who  had 
secured  his  lands,  terrible  ami  wanton  as  was  the  revenge  he 
took  on  defenseless  men,  women  and  children  occupying  his 
ancient  domains,  bitter  though  the  feeling  against  him  iiuust  of 
necessity  be  by  those  whose  loved  ones  were  ravished,  multilated 
and  murdered,  nevertheless  the  methods  of  the  most  civilized  and 
modern  warfare  have  taugjit  the  world  that  between  the  motives 
of  the  wildest  savage  ami  the  mo.st  cultured  soldier  there  is  little 
difference  when  a  man  finds  himself  fighting  for  existence  against 
those  whom  he  believes  to  have  Avronged  liim.  The  Indian's 
method  was  to  torture  and  mutilate,  to  strike  such  terror  that 
the  enemy  would  forever  after  fear  him.  The  civilized  method 
likewise  mutilates,  terrorizes  and  strikes  sudden  death  against 
those  equally  defenseless  and  inoffensive  as  were  those  the  Indian 
massacred.  The  Indian,  regarded  and  treated  by  the  whites  as  a 
little  loM-er  than  an  animal,  with  even  his  treaty  rights  disre- 
garded, struck,  in  the  only  way  he  knew,  in  behalf  of  the  con- 
tinued existence  of  himself  and  of  his  wife  and  babes,  against  a 
race  -whose  desire  for  broad  acres  was  ever  driving  the  Red  Man 
and  his  family  further  and  further  from  the  sweejis  over  which 
his  forefathers  had  ranged. 

Evil  (lays  indeed  came  for  the  simple  child  of  the  forest,  when 
as  scum  on  the  advancing  frontier  wave  of  civilization  came  the 
firewater,  the  vices  and  the  diseases  of  civilized  man.  Neither  his 
physical  nor  his  spiritual  organization  is  prepared  to  withstand 
these  powerful  evils  of  a  stronger  race,  and  the  primitive  red  man 
has  often,  perhaps  generally,  been  reduced  to  a  ])itiful  parasite 
on  the  civilized  community,  infested  with  the  diseases,  the  vermin 
and  the  vices  of  the  white  man  and  living  in  a  degradation  and 
squalor  that  only  civilization  can  furnish. 

The  white  man  took  from  the  Indian  all  his  primitive  virtues, 
and  gave  him  none  of  the  virtues  of  the  white  man  in  return. 
He  taught  the  red  man  all  of  the  evils  of  civilization  before  he 
was  advanced  enough  to  accept  its  advantages,  and  tried  to  iual<c 
him  conform  suddenly  Avith  those  habits  of  life  which  with  the 
white  race  has  been  the  (leveloiJiiii-nt  of  ages.  Thus  burdened 
with  the  white  man's  vices,  his  own  natural  mode  of  living  sud- 
denly made  impossildi".  driven  liere  and  there  by  the  onru.sh  of 
civilization,  cheated  and  defrauded  by  traders  and  government 
officials  alike,  the  Indian  has  degenerated  until  he  is  only  a 
travesty  on  the  noble  kings  of  the  forest  who  once   held   swav 


30  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

ill  tile  upper  Mississippi  aud  the  Minnesota  valleys.  But  a  eliauge 
is  uow  coming  with  an  awakened  public  conscience.  Aud  the 
results  are  encouraging.  The  census  seems  to  iudicate  that  the 
Indian  is  no  longer  a  vanishing  race.  Steady  and  considerable 
progress  is  made  in  his  civilization,  and  his  physical  condition  is 
improving. 

Wapeton  Dakotas.  Information  as  to  the  occupancy  of  tlie 
Minnesota  valley  during  the  era  of  the  early  explorers  is  some- 
what vague.  After  tlie  Dakotas  in  prehistoric  times  came  up  the 
Mississippi  river,  and  in  the  upper  reaches  of  that  river  estab- 
lished their  homes,  the  IMedewakanton  and  several  subsidiary  of 
the  Sioux  made  their  lieadquarters  about  Mille  Lacs,  ranging 
the  rivers  and  forests  and  prairies  from  that  point  to  unknown 
distances.  Probably  some  bands  became  permanently  separated 
from  the  main  band.  In  the  days  of  the  early  French  explorers, 
the  Medewakantons  were  still  living  at  Mille  Lacs.  The  Warpeton- 
wans,  apparently  closely  allied  to  the  IMedewakantons.  were  rang- 
ing the  territory  west  of  the  upper  Mississippi  river,  between  the 
Crow  and  the  Crow  Wing  rivers. 

The  Chippewas  drove  the  Sioux  from  the  ilille  Lacs  region, 
and  the  deposed  tribes  esta))lislied  themselves  at  various  points. 

The  location  of  the  several  bands  inhabiting  Southern  JMinne- 
sota  in  1834  has  been  told  by  the  missionary,  S.  W.  Pond,  who 
came  to  ^Minnesota  that  year.    He  has  written: 

"The  villages  of  the  ^Medewakantonwan  were  on  the  Minne- 
sota and  Mississippi  rivers,  extending  from  Winona  to  Shakopee. 
Most  of  the  Indians  living  on  the  Minnesota  river  above  Shakopee 
were  Warpetonwan.  At  Big  Stone  lake  there  were  both  Warpe- 
touwan  and  Sissetonwan,  and  at  Lake  Traverse,  riianktonwan 
(Yankton),  Sissetonwan  and  Warpetoii\\  an.  Part  of  tin'  Warpe- 
kute  lived  on  Cannon  river  aud  part  at  Traverse  des  Sioux. 
There  were  frequent  intermarriages  between  these  divisons  of  the 
Dakotas,  and  they  were  more  or  less  intermingled  at  all  their 
villages.  Though  the  manners,  language  an<l  dress  of  the  different 
divisons  were  not  all  precisely  alike,  they  were  essentially  one 
people."' 

Thus,  at  that  time,  Renville  county  was  Wapeton  (spelled 
Warpetonwan,  Wahpetou  and  Warpeton)  country,  through  the 
Sissetons,  the  Yanktons  and  the  Medawakantons  were  not  far 
away. 

Nicollet  in  his  map  of  the  state  placed  the  Wapetons  along 
the  ]\Iinnesota  river  in  this  part  of  the  state,  and  the  Sissetons  in 
the  southwestern  part  of  the  state. 

However,  Sleepy  Eye"s  village  of  Sissetons  appears  to  have 
been  located  for  a  time  at  least  in  the  vicinitj'  of  the  mouth  of 
the  Little  Rock,  not  far  from  the  present  area  of  Renville  county. 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  31 

INDJAN  TREATIES. 

From  prehistoric  days  up  to  tlic  time  of  the  treaties  signed  at 
Traverse  des  Sioux,  July  23,  1851,  and  at  Mendota,  August  5, 

1851,  ratified  and  amended  by  the  United  States  Senate,  June  23, 

1852,  and  proclaimed  by  President  ilillard  Fillmore  February  24, 

1853,  the  land  now  embraced  in  Renville  county  remained  in  the 
nominal  possession  of  the  Indians.  Before  this  treaty,  however, 
several  agreements  were  made  between  the  Indians  of  this  vicinity 
and  the.  United  States  government,  regarding  mutual  relations 
and  the  ceding  of  lands.  The  first  of  these  was  the  treaty  with 
Pike  in  1805,  by  which  land  at  tlie  moutlis  of  the  Minnesota  and 
St.  Croix  rivers  was  ceded  to  tlie  government  for  military  pur- 
poses. 

Visit  to  Washington,  hi  1S16,  the  War  of  1812  having  been 
brought  to  a  close,  the  Indians  of  this  vicinity  made  peace  Math 
the  United  States  and  signed  treaties  placing  the  Sioux  of  this 
neighborhood  "in  all  things  and  in  every  respect  on  the  same  foot- 
ing upon  which  they  stood  before  the  late  war."  Perpetual  peace 
was  promised,  and  it  was  agreed  that  "every  injury  or  act  of 
hostility  committed  by  one  or  the  other  of  the  contracting  par- 
ties against  the  other  shall  be  mutually  forgiven  and  forgotten." 
The  tribes  recognized  the  absolute  authority  of  the  United  States. 
After  Ft.  Snelling  was  established,  the  officers  at  various  times 
engineered  peace  pacts  between  various  tribes,  but  these  were 
usually  quickly  broken. 

In  the  spring  of  1821  the  first  delegation  of  Sioux  Indians 
went  to  Washington  to  see  their  "Great  Father,"  the  president. 
A  delegation  of  Chippewas  accompanied,  and  both  were  in  charge 
of  ]\Iajor  Lawrence  Taliaferro.  Wabaslia.  then  properly  called 
Wa-pa-ha-sha  or  Wah-pah-hah-sha,  the  head  chief  of  the  band  at 
AVinona ;  and  Little  Crow,  head  of  the  Kaposia  band ;  and  Wah- 
natah,  were  the  principal  mt>mbers  of  the  Sioux  delegation.  When 
the  delegation  had  gone  as  far  as  Prairie  du  Chien,  Waba.sha  and 
Wahnatah.  who  had  been  intluenced  by  traders,  desired  to  turn 
back,  but  Little  Crow  i)ersuaded  them  to  continue.  The  object  of 
the  visit  was  to  secure  a  convocation  of  all  of  the  upper  Missis- 
sippi Indians  at  Prairie  du  Chien,  to  define  the  boundary  line  of 
the  lands  claimed  by  the  separate  tribes  and  to  establish  general 
and  permanently  friendly  relations  among  them.  The  party  made 
the  trip  in  keel  boats  from  Fort  Snelling  to  Prairie  du  Chien,  and 
from  there  to  Pittsburgh  by  steamboat,  thence  to  Washington  and 
other  eastern  cities  by  lanil. 

Prairie  du  Chien  Treaty  of  1825.  This  ti-eaty,  signed  August 
ID,  was  of  impoi'tance  to  the  Indians  who  ranged  Renville  county 
in  that  it  fixed  certain  general  boundaries,  and  confirmed  the  fact 
that   the   present   county   lay   entirely   in    Sioux    territory.     The 


32  HISTORY  OF  KENNMLLE  COUNTY 

treaty  was  partifipated  in  by  the  ( 'liippcwii.  Sank  (Sac)  and  Fox; 
Menomiuee,  Iowa,  Sioux,  Wiunebago  :  and  a  portiou  of  tlie  Ottawa, 
Chippewa  and  Potawatomi  tribes  living  on  the  Illinois. 

The  line  between  the  Sionx  and  the  confederated  Sauks  and 
Foxes  extended  across  a  part  of  noi-tiiern  Iowa.  It  was  declared 
iu  the  treaty  to  rnn  np  the  L'pi)er  Iowa  (now  the  Oneota)  river 
to  its  left  fork,  and  up  that  fork  to  its  source ;  thence  crossing  the 
Cedar  river  to  the  second  or  upper  fork  of  the  Des  Moines,  and 
in  a  direct  line  to  the  lower  fork  of  the  (.'aluuiet  (Big  Sioux) 
river,  and  down  that  river  to  the  Missouri  river.  On  both  sides 
of  this  line  extended  a  tract  which  eanie  to  l)e  known  as  the 
■'Neutral  Strip,"  into  which  the  Winnebagoes  were  later  moved 
as  a  butit'er  between  the  Sioux  and  their  enemies  to  the  South. 

The  eastern  boundai-y  of  tlu'  Sioux  territory  was  to  eoiumence 
on  the  east  bank  of  the  ^Mississippi  ri\er  o|)posite  the  month  of 
the  "loway"  river,  running  back  to  the  bluffs  and  along  the 
bluffs  to  the  Bad  Axe  I'iver,  thence  to  the  mouth  of  the  Black 
river,  and  thence  to  half  a  day"s  march,  below  the  falls  of  the 
Chippewa.  East  of  this  line,  generally  speaking,  was  the  Winne- 
bago country,  though  the  ^lenominee  country  lay  about  Green 
Bay,  Lake  ^Michigan  and  the  ililwaukee  river,  and  the  !Menoiiiinees 
claimed  as  far  west  as  the  Black  river.  The  Chippewa  country 
was  to  l)e  to  the  north  of  tile  Winnebagoes  and  Jlenominees,  and 
east  of  the  northern  line  of  the  Sioux  country,  the  line  between 
the  Chippewa  and  the  Sioux  beginning  at  a  point  a  half  a  day's 
uuirch  below  the  falls  of  the  Chippewa,  thence  to  the  Red  Cedar 
river  immediately  below  the  falls,  thence  to  a  point  on  the  St. 
Croix  river,  a  day's  paddle  above  the  lake  at  the  mouth  of  that 
river,  and  thence  nortliwestward  across  the  present  state  of 
iliiniesota.  The  line  crossed  the  Mississipi)i  at  the  month  of  the 
Watab  river  just  above  St.  Cloud.  Thus  both  sides  of  the  ]\Iissis- 
si]>iii  diH'ing  its  course  along  Renville  county  were  included  in 
Sioux  territory. 

The  boundary  lines  were  certainly-,  in  many  respects,  quite 
indefinite,  and  whether  this  was  the  troidjle  or  not,  in  any  event, 
it  was  but  a  few  months  after  the  treaty  when  it  was  evident  that 
none  of  tlie  signers  were  willing  to  be  governed  by  the  lines  estab- 
lished, and  hardly  by  any  others.  The  first  article  of  the  treaty 
provided:  "There  shall  be  a  firm  and  peri)etual  peace  between 
the  Sioux  and  the  Chijjpewas ;  between  the  Sioux  and  the  con- 
federated tribes  of  Sacs  and  Foxes;  and  between  the  'loways' 
and  the  Sioux."  But  this  provision  was  more  honored  in  the 
breach  than  the  observance,  and  in  a  little  time  the  tribes  named 
were  flying  at  one  another's  throats  and  engaged  in  theii-  old- 
time  hostilities. 

Second  Treaty  of  Prairie  du  Chien.  In  18:^0  a  second  treaty 
with  the  Northwest   Indian  tribes  was  held  at  Prairie  du  Chien. 


HENUY  TIMM'S  CAlilN 


•■P  I 


WILLIAM    WK'IIM  \\   S    I  ;l  i;'lll  I'l.Ai 'K 


HISTORY  OP  RE.WILLE  COUNTY  33 

A  iVw  weeks  previous  to  tlie  convoeatioii,  wliieh  was  begun  July 
15,  a  party  of  Wabasha's  band  of  Sioux  and  some  Menominees 
ambushed  a  party  of  Fox  Indians  some  twelve  or  fifteen  miles 
below  Prairie  du  Ghien  and  killed  eight  of  them,  including  a  sub- 
chief  called  the  Kettle. 

The  Foxes  had  their  village  near  Dubuque  and  were  on  their 
way  to  Prairie  du  Chieu  to  visit  the  Indian  agent,  whom  they 
had  apprised  of  their  coming.  They  were  in  canoes  on  the  Mis- 
sissippi. As  they  reached  the  lower  end  of  Praii-ie  du  Pierreaux 
they  paddled  up  a  narrow  channel  M'hich  rau  near  the  eastern 
shore,  where  their  concealed  enemies  opened  fire.  The  Foxes 
returned  to  their  village,  bearing  their  dead,  while  the  Sioux  and 
Menominees  went  home  and  danced  over  their  victory.  A  few 
weeks  previously  the  Foxes  had  killed  some  of  Wabasha's  band 
on  the  Red  Cedar  river,  in  Iowa,  and  the  Sioux  claimed  that  their 
part  in  the  Prairie  ilu  Pierreaux  affair  was  taken  in  retaliation  for 
the  Red  Cedar  affair.  In  .lune  of  the  following  year  a  large 
number  of  Menominees  were  camped  on  an  island  in  the  Missis- 
sippi, less  than  a  half  a  mile  from  Fort  Crawford  and  Prairie  du 
Chien.  One  night  they  were  all  drunk,  "men,  women  and  chil- 
dren." Two  hours  before  daylight  the  Dubuque  Foxes  took 
dreadful  reprisal  for  the  killing  of  their  brethren  at  Prairie  du 
Pierreaux.  Though  but  a  small  band,  they  crept  into  the  Menom- 
inee encampment,  fell  upon  inmates,  and  in  a  few  minutes  put 
a  number  of  them  to  the  gun,  the  tomahawk  and  the  scalping 
knife.  Thirty  Menominees  were  killed.  When  the  entire  Menom- 
inee band  had  been  aroused  the  Foxes,  without  having  lost  a  man, 
retired,  crying  out  in  great  exultation  that  the  cowardly  killing 
of  their  comrades  at  Prairie  du  Pierreaux  had  been  avenged. 

Because  of  the  Prairie  du  Pierreaux  affair  the  Foxes  at  first 
refused  to  be  present  at  the  treaty  of  Prairie  du  Chieu,  but  finally 
came.  Delegates  were  present  from  four  bands  of  the  Sioux,  the 
Medawakantons,  the  Wapakootas,  the  Walipatons  and  the  Sisse- 
tons,  and  also  fi-om  the  Sacs,  Foxes  and  lowas,  and  even  from  the 
Omahas,  Otoes  and  Missouris,  the  homes  of  the  last  three  tribes 
being  on  the  Missouri  river. 

At  this  treaty  the  Indian  tribes  represented  ceded  all  of  their 
claims  to  the  land  in  Western  Iowa,  Northwestern  Missouri  and 
especially  the  country  of  the  Des  Moines  river  valley. 

The  Medawakanton  Sioux,  Wabasha's  band,  had  a  special 
article  (numbered  9)  inserted  in  the  treaty  for  the  benefit  of  their 
half-breed  relatives. 

The  Sioux  also  ceded  a  tract  of  land  twenty  miles  wide  along 
the  northern  boundary  of  Iowa  from  the  Mississippi  to  the  Des 
Moiiii's:  eoiisiilcratinn  $2,000  in  cash  and  $1,200  in  Tiierchandise. 

The  Doty  Treaty.  The  Doty  Treaty,  made  at  Traverse  des 
Sioux  (St.  Peter),  in  July,  1841,  faile.l  to  be  ratified  by  the  United 


34  HISTORY  OF  KENVILLE  COFNTV 

States  Senate.  This  treat.v  embodied  a  Utopian  dream  that  a 
territory  of  Indians  could  be  established,  in  which  the  redmen 
■would  reside  on  farms  and  in  villages,  living  their  lives  after  the 
style  of  the  whites,  liaving  a  constitutional  form  of  government, 
with  a  legislature  of  their  own  people  elected  by  themselves,  the 
governor  to  be  appointed  by  the  president  of  the  United  States. 
They  were  to  be  taught  the  arts  of  peace,  to  be  jiaid  annuities, 
and  to  be  protected  by  the  armies  of  the  United  States  from  their 
Indian  enemies  on  the  west.  In  return  for  tliese  benefits  to  be 
conferred  upon  the  Indians,  the  United  States  was  to  receive  all 
the  lands  in  wlmt  is  now  IMinnesota,  the  Dakotas  and  northwestern 
Iowa.  This  ceded  land  was  not  to  be  opened  to  the  settlement  of 
the  whites,  and  the  phui  was  to  have  some  of  it  reserved  for 
Indian  tribes  from  other  i)arts  of  the  country  who  should  sell  their 
lands  to  the  United  States,  and  who.  in  being  moved  here,  were  to 
enjoy  all  tiie  [n-ivileges  whieli  had  been  so  l)eautifully  jilanned 
for  the  native  Indians.  But  no  one  can  tell  what  would  have  been 
the  result  of  this  experiment,  for  the  Senate,  for  ])olitical  reasons, 
refused  to  ratify  the  treaty,  and  it  f:iilcd  of  going  into  effect. 
This  treaty  was  signed  by  the  Sisseton,  Wahpeton  and  Wahpa- 
koota  bands  at  Traverse  des  Sioux,  July  SI.  1841,  and  by  the 
Medawakanton  l)ands  at  ^Mendota,  August  11  of  the  same  year. 

Preliminaries  to  Final  Session.  No  other  events  or  incidents 
in  all  tuiir  have  beiMi  of  more  importance  in  their  influence  upo)i 
the  character  and  destiny  of  Minnesota  than  tlie  negotiations 
with  the  Sioux  Indians  in  the  summer  of  18r)l,  commonly  known 
as  the  Treaties  of  Traverse  des  Sioux  and  Mendota.  As  a  result 
of  these  ti'eaties  a  vast  region  of  coinitry  htrge  enougii  iind  natu- 
rally rich  enough  for  a  kingdom  was  released  from  the  sway  of  its 
owners  and  opened  to  white  settlement. 

Prioi'  to  these  events  only  tile  hinds  in  Minnesota  east  of  the 
Jlississippi  river  were  open  to  'white  occupation.  Tlu^  fine,  fer- 
tile expanse  to  the  westward  was  forbidden  ground.  The  waves 
of  immigration  were  steadily  rolling  in  and  beating  against  the 
legal  bai'rier  in  increasing  volume  and  growing  forces;  and  as 
opposed  to  the  demand  of  the  whites  for  land  and  power  the 
rights  and  necessities  of  the  Indians  were  of  little  winght.  A 
decent  I'cgard  for  the  opinions  of  mankind  and  also  a  fear  of  the 
revenge  that  the  Indians  might  take,  demanded,  however,  that  the 
government  go  through  the  form  of  a  i)ureliase,  and  that  some 
sort  of  price,  even  if  I'idiculously  small,  lie  jiaid  for  the  I'elin- 
quished  land. 

In  liis  message  to  the  first  Territorial  Legislature  Governor 
Kamsey  recommended  that  a  memorial  to  Congress  be  prepared 
and  adopted  praying  for  the  purchase  by  treaty  of  a  large  extent 
of  the  Sioux  country  west  of  the  Mississippi. '  Accoi-dingly  a 
lengthy  petition,  very  earnest  and  eloquent  in  its  terms,  was,  aftei' 


nisTolv'V  OF  KE.Wll.LE  COUNTY  35 

considerable  delibciiition.  drawn  up,  liiially  adopted  by  both 
houses  and  didy  prcsnitcd  to  Congi'ess.  This  was  in  October, 
I)ut  already  the  national  autiiorities  hatl  taken  action. 

In  June,  1849,  Orlando  Brown,  Commissioner  of  Indian  affairs, 
atldressed  an  official  letter  to  Thomas  Ewin<i.  then  Secretary  of 
the  Interior,  recommending  iiegotiations  with  the  Sioux,  "for  the 
purpose  of  purchasing  their  title  to  a  large  tract  of  country  west 
of  the  I\Iississippi  river."  The  comiinssioner  said  that  the  object 
of  the  purchase  was.  "in  ordci-  to  make  room  for  the  immigrants 
now  going  in  large  numbers  to  tlic  new  territory  of  Minnesota, 
as  the  Indian  title  has  been  extinguished  to  but  a  comparatively 
small  extent  of  the  country  within  its  limits."  Secretar.y  Ewing 
approved  the  report  and  selected  Governor  liamsey  and  .loliii 
Chandlers,  the  latter  a  former  territorial  governor  of  Iowa,  as 
commissioners  to  make  the  propo.sed  treaty. 

In  his  annual  irport  tor  1848  Commissioner  Brown  had  recom- 
mended an  appropi'iation  to  tiefray  the  expenses  of  a  Sioux  treaty, 
but  Congress  failed  to  make  it.  So  desirous  was  he  for  the  treaty 
in  1849  that  lie  was  willing  to  pay  the  attendant  expense  out  of 
the  "small  current  apinopi'iatioiis"  for  his  office,  and  so  he 
warned  Ramsey  and  Chambers  that  "the  strictest  economy  in 
all  your  expenditures  will  l)e  necessary."  He  said  if  they  waited 
for  a  sjjecial  ap])ro])riation  from  the  next  Congress  the  treaty  in 
its  complete  form  would  be  iiostponed  for  two  years,  and  in  the 
meanwhile  there  would  be  increasing  ti'ouble  between  the  Indian 
owners  of  the  land  and  trespassing  settb-rs. 

In  August.  1849.  Commissioner  Bi'own  adilressed  a  lengthy 
letter  to  Governors  Ramse\-  and  ('liamliers  iid'ormiiig  tliem  of 
their  apjiointment  as  conunissioners  to  make  the  treaty  and 
instructing  them  ])artictdarly  as  to  their  duties  in  the  preuuses. 
The  instructions  were  nut  only  elear,  but  very  elaborate  and  com- 
prehensive, and  so  far  as  the\'  eoidd  be  given  tiie  commissioners 
were  told  just  what  to  do  and  just  how  to  do  it.  The  fact  that  some 
of  the  directions  were  luiwise  and  unwarranted  was  due  to  the 
misinformation  on  the  subject  which  the  commissioner  iiad 
received,  and  his  consequent  lack  of  knowledge  as  to  the  situation. 
For  example,  in  describing  the  territory  which  the  commissioners 
were  to  actpiirc.  Commissioner  Brown  expressed  the  oi)inion  that 
it  contained  "some  20, ()()(), 000  of  acres,"  and  that  "sonu'  of  it," 
no  doubt,  contained  ■"lands  of  excellent  quality."  With  respect 
to  the  probable  wortli  of  the  country  to  the  United  States  the 
commissioner  expressed  the  oi)inion  that,  "from  its  nature,  a 
great  part  of  it  can  never  be  more  than  vei'_\-  trifling,  if  of  any, 
value  to  the  government."  The  country  was  more  valuable  for 
the  purpose  of  a  location  for  homeseekers  than  for  any  other  jmr- 
pose,  and  Commissioner  Brown  realized  that  "only  a  small  part 
of  it  is  now  actually  necessary  for  that  object." 


36  HISTORY  OF  KENVILLE  COUNTY 

The  eoiiteiiiplated  and  directed  treaty  with  the  Sioux  in  the 
fall  of  1849  Avas  not  held  as  contemplated.  On  repairing  to 
Traverse  des  Sioux  in  October,  Commissioners  Ramsey  and  Cham- 
bers found  that  a  large  majority  of  tlie  Upper  Indians  were 
absent  on  their  fall  hunts.  Coming  down  to  Mendota,  they  found 
the  greater  part  of  the  Lower  bands  were  absent  gathering  wild 
rice,  hunting  in  the  Big  Woods  and  elsewhere,  and  those  still  in 
the  villages  were,  under  the  circumstances,  unwilling  to  engage 
in  any  important  negotiations. 

At  Mendota,  however,  a  treaty  was  made  with  some  of  the 
chiefs  of  the  Medawakanton  and  Wapakooto  bands  providing  for 
tilt'  ])urehase,  on  reasonable  terms,  of  what  was  known  as  the 
"Half-Breed  Tract,'"  lying  west  of  Lake  Pepin,  and  wliicli  had 
been  set  apart  for  tlie  Sioux  mixed  bloods  by  the  treaty  of  July 
15,  1830.  The  tract  comprised  about  384,000  acres  of  now  well 
known  and  valuable  country.  The  purchase  was  to  be  completed 
as  soon  as  possible,  and  the  money  given  to  tlie  mixed  blood  bene- 
ficiaries in  lieu  of  the  lands.  The  treaty  was  duly  forwarded  to 
Washington,  but  never  ratified  by  the  Senate.  In  1850  the  agita- 
tion for  a  more  comprehensive  treaty  resulted  in  the  important 
negotiations  of  the  summer  of  1851,  and  the  subject  of  the  Lake 
Pepin  Half  Breed  Tract  was  put  aside  and  soon  forgotten. 

At  last,  in  the  spring  of  1851,  President  Fillmore  directed  that 
a  treaty  with  the  Sioux  be  made  and  appointed  conimissioners  to 
that  end.  The  pressure  upon  him  could  no  longer  be  resisted. 
The  Territorial  Legislature  had  repeateilly  memorialized  Con- 
gress, Ramsey  had  written,  Sibley  and  Rice  liad  I'easoned  and 
pleaded,  and  Goodhue  and  the  other  Minnesota  editors  liad  well 
nigh  heated  their  types  in  their  fervid  exliortations  to  the 
national  authorities  to  tear  down  tlie  barriers  and  allow  the 
eager  and  restless  whites  to  grasp  the  wealth  of  tlie  great  inland 
empire  now  furnishing  home  and  sustenance  to  its  riglitful  owners. 
Already  many  settlers,  as  reckless  of  their  own  lives  as  they  were 
regardless  of  the  laws  of  tlieir  country,  wt-rc  squatting  witliin  the 
forbidden  area. 

The  traders  were  esi)ecially  desirous  that  a  treaty  be  made. 
It  was  the  practice  in  such  negotiations  to  insert  a  provision  in 
tlie  treaty  that  tlie  "just  debts"  of  the  Indians  should  be  paid 
out  of  the  amounts  allowed  Ihem.  The  American  P^ir  Company — 
then  Pierre  Chouteau,  Jr.,  &  Company — represented  by  Sibley 
and  tlie  various  sub-traders  claimed  that  the  Sioux  of  Minnesota 
owed  tlieiii  in  the  aggregate  nearly  .4;500,000  for  goods  they  had 
received  in  past  times:  the  accounts,  in  some  instances,  were  dated 
twenty  years  previously.  If  a  treaty  were  made,  all  of  the 
accounts,  both  real  and  fictitious,  and  augmented  to  suit  the 
traders'  fancy,  would  probably  be  declared  as  "just  debts"  and 
2)aid  out  of  such  funds  as  might  be  allotted  the  Indians.    That  the 


HISTORY  OP  RENVILLE  COUNTY  37 

traders,  including  the  firm  of  Choteau,  Jr.,  &  Company,  did  all 
th(\v  could  to  have  a  treaty  made  may  readily  be  believed. 

Under  a  paragraph  in  the  ludiau  appropriation  bill  oi'  1851, 
appi-oved  February  27,  all  Indian  treaties  thereafter  were  to  be 
negotiated  by  "ofReers  and  agents'"  connected  with  the  Indian 
Department  and  selected  by  the  ])rcsideiit.  The  appointees  were 
not  to  receive  for  thcii'  service  in  such  cases  any  compensation 
in  addition  to  their  rcjjidar  salaries.  Previously  treaties  had  been 
negotiated  on  the  jtai-t  of  the  government  bj'  special  agents,  who 
were  generally  not  connected  with  the  public  service  and  who 
were  paid  particularly  and  liberally  for  these  services. 

In  consideration  of  the  great  extent  of  country  to  be  possibly 
acquired,  and  the  importance  of  the  treaty  generally,  President 
Fillmore  appointed  to  conduct  it,  on  the  part  of  the  government, 
two  prominent  officials  of  the  Indian  Department.  These  were 
Governor  Alexander  Ramsey,  ex-officio  Indian  Commissioner  for 
Minnesota,  and  Luke  Lea,  the  National  Commissioner  of  Indian 
affairs.  The  instructions  given  them  were  in  the  main  those  of 
Commissioner  Brown,  two  years  before,  to  Ramsey  and  Chambers 
when  it  was  designed  that  the  treaty  should  then  be  made. 

Treaty  of  Traverse  des  Sioux.  Commissioner  Lea  arrived  at 
St.  Paul,  OH  the  steaiiilioal  Excelsior,  June  27.  On  the  twenty- 
ninth  he  and  Governor  Ramsey  left  Fort  Snelling  on  the  boat  for 
Traverse  iles  Sioux,  the  site  of  the  council  ground  selected  for  the 
treaty  with  the  two  upper  bands  of  Sioux,  tin;  Wahpatons  and 
Sissetons,  who  occupied  the  country  of  the  Upper  Minnesota 
valley.  On  board  of  the  Excelsior  were  some  beef  cattle  and  other 
supplies,  to  b(»  furnished  the  Inilians  during  the  negotiations. 
There  wei'e  also  on  board  about  twenty-five  white  persons  who 
went  up  as  excursionists  and  as  sightseers  and  witnesses  of  the 
proceedings. 

Tile  Kxeelsior  landed  at  Travei-se  des  Sioux  early  on  the  moni- 
iiig  of  ^Monday,  June  80.  This  was  a  well  known  locality.  Here 
the  Sioux,  in  early  days,  were  M'ont  to  cross  the  Minnesota,  on 
their  Avay  between  the  Caniu)n  river  country  and  Swan  lake,  and 
the  ford  bore  the  French  equivalent  for  the  "crossing  of  the 
Sioux. ■■  From  the  earliest  days  thei'e  had  been  a  trading  post 
here  and  in  1843  Reverend  Kiggs  and  his  associates  had  estab- 
lished a  mission  at  the  site.  In  the  summer  of  1849  this  station 
was  in  charge  of  Reverend  Messrs.  Robert  Hopkins  and  Alexander 
G.  Iluggins.  The  missionaries  had  comfortable  i-esidences,  and 
there  was  a  frame  mission  house  nea.tly  jiainted  and  well  fur- 
nished. 

There  was  also  at  "The  Ti'averse, '"  as  it  was  often  called,  the 
trading  houses  of  Alexander  Graham  and  Oliver  Faribault,  with 
residence  cabins  and  other  log  outbuildings;  there  was  also  the 


38  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

old  log  warehouse  in  which  the  Doty  treaty  of  1841  had  been 
made  and  signed,  while  scattered  along  the  ridge  to  the  rear  were 
thirty  or  more  but?alo  skin  tepees,  occupied  by  Indian  families 
belonging  to  Chief  Red  Iron's  band  of  Sissetons.  Ten  miles  to 
the  northwest  was  the  village  of  Chief  Sleepy  Eye's  Little  Rock 
baiul  of  Sissetons  numbering  two  hundred  and  fifty.  The  site  of 
the  Traverse,  where  the  town  was  afterwards  laid  out,  is  two 
miles  east  of  St.  Peter,  or  seventy  miles  southwest  of  St.  Paul. 

Word  had  been  sent  to  all  of  the  Sisseton  and  Wahpeton  bands 
— the  Upper  bauds,  as  they  were  often  called — that  a  treaty  was 
to  be  held  at  the  Traverse  early  in  July.  They  were  notified  to 
be  present ;  not  only  the  chiefs,  but  the  head  men — the  war  leaders 
and  principal  orators  of  the  band — were  to  participate  in  the 
deliberations.  A  large  brush  arboi'  was  erected,  under  the  super- 
vision of  Alexis  Bailly,  and  lieiieath  this  comfortable  shade  the 
treaty  negotiations  were  to  be  held.  A  number  of  beeves  M'ere 
slaughtered  and  boxes  of  hard-tack  opened  to  feed  the  expected 
visitors,  while  baskets  of  champagne  and  other  refreshments  were 
offered  for  tlie  entertainment  of  the  wliite  visitors.  But  the 
arrival  of  the  reluctant  Indians  was  long  delayed,  and  it  was  not 
until  July  18  that  the  representatives  of  the  last  bands  came  in, 
very  tired,  very  hungry  and  not  favorable  to  the  purpose  for 
which  the  council  was  calleil.  They  were  heartily  welcomed  by 
the  designing  whites  and  bountiftilly  fed  on  fresh  beef,  pork  and 
hard-tack,  but  were  refused  whisky  or  other  spirits,  the  wliites 
desiring  all  that  for  themselves. 

There  were  ])resent  on  the  part  of  the  Indians  the  two  head 
chiefs  and  the  principal  sub-chiefs  of  the  bands,  as  well  as  their 
liead  soldiers,  chief  speakers  and  prominent  men  of  all  classes. 
On  the  part  of  the  whites  were  Commissionei's  Lea  and  Ramsey; 
Dr.  Thomas  Poster,  the  seci'etary;  and  Alexander  Faribnidt  and 
Eeverend  S.  R.  Riggs,  interjireters.  Other  prominent  white  spec- 
tators, some  of  whom  acted  as  witnesses  to  the  treaty  were: 
James  M.  Goodhue,  editor  of  the  Minnesota  Pioneer,  who  made 
and  published  a  daily  report  of  the  proceedings;  Frank  B.  Mayer, 
a  noted  artist  from  Baltimore ;  ^Major  Nathaniel  ]\leLean,  Sioux 
Indian  agent  at  Fort  Snelling ;  Doctor  Thomas  S.  Williamson,  the 
missionary  at  Kaposia ;  Judge  James  H.  LockM'ood,  of  Praii'ie  du 
Chien,  who  had  ascended  the  Minnesota  far  above  Patterson's 
Rapids  in  1816 ;  Richard  Chute  and  wife,  then  a  newly  married 
couple  from  Indiana ;  H.  H.  Sibley,  Colonel  C.  Henderson,  Joseph 
R.  Brown,  W.  H.  Forbes,  Hugh  Tyler,  Reverend  Alexander  G. 
Huggins,  Martin  McLeod,  Henry  Jackson,  A.  S.  H.  White,  Wal- 
lace B.  White,  Alexis  Bailly,  Kenneth  McKenzie,  Hercules  L. 
Dousman,  Franklin  Steele,  F.  Brown,  William  Hartshorn,  William 
G.  Le  Due,  Joseph  La  Frambois,  Sr.,  James  ilcC.  Boal,  and  sundry 
French  voyageurs,  traders'  employes  and  retainers,  all  of  whom 


HISTORY  OF  RENATLLE  COUNTY  39 

were  entertaiiu'il  siiinptuDiisly  with  (Iclicidiis  viiiiuLs,  aiid  many 
with  fiery  spirits  and  rare  wines  at  the  government's  expense. 

While  waiting  for  the  Indians  the  whites  diverted  themselves 
in  varions  ways,  but  chiefly  in  observing  the  Indian  danees  and 
their  other  customs.  It  was  intended  to  formally  observe  the 
Fourth  of  July.  Reverend  Robert  Hopkins,  one  of  the  local  mis- 
sionaries, was  drowned  while  bathing  in  the  Minnesota,  and  the 
intention  was  abandoned. 

July  11  occurred  the  marriage  of  two  mixed  blood  people, 
David  Faribault  and  Nancy  Winona  McClure.  They  were  a  fine 
looking  couple,  attracted  general  admiration,  and  the  whites  gave 
them  a  pretentious  wedding  reception.  The  groom  was  a  son  of 
John  B.  Faribault,  the  pioneer  trader,  and  the  bride  was  the 
natural  daughter  of  Lieutenant  James  McClure  of  the  regular 
army,  who  was  at  one  time  stationed  at  Fort  Snelling  and  died  in 
Florida  during  the  Seminole  War  of  1837 ;  she  had  been  reared  by 
her  Indian  grandmother  and  educated  and  Christianized  by  Rev- 
erend Messrs.  Riggs  and  Williamson. 

The  ceremony  was  performed  by  Alexis  Bailly,  the  trader, 
who  had  been  commissioned  a  justice  of  the  peace.  The  wedding 
reception  was  followed  by  an  elaborate  banquet  prepared  by  the 
whites,  and  at  which  there  were  a  number  of  toasts  presented  and 
responses  made.  Referring  to  her  marriage  reception  years  after- 
wards Mrs.  Faribault  wrote:  "I  have  often  M'ondered  how  so 
nuieh  cham])agne  got  so  far  out  on  the  frontier."'  After  the  wed- 
ding festivities  the  Sioux  girls,  to  the  number  of  twenty  or  more, 
had  a  "virgin  feast,"  in  which  none  but  vestals  of  undoubted 
purity  were  allowed  to  participate. 

The  Indians,  as  noted,  came  in  from  time  to  time  in  no  haste 
and  evidently  much  opposed  to  parting  with  their  lands.  Nearly 
all  of  the  women  and  children  were  brought  along.  Chief  Sha- 
kopee,  of  the  Lower  bands  of  the  Sioux,  was  in  attendance  a 
great  part  of  the  time.  On  the  tenth  a  band  of  twenty  Cliippewas 
attacked  a  party  of  six  Sisseton  Sioux  forty  nules  above  Lac  Qui 
Parle  and  killed  and  scalped  five  of  them  ;  the  sixth,  a  boy,  escaped 
by  running.  The  Sioux  went  out  and  found  their  tribesmen 
blackening  in  tlic  sun;  the  bodies  had  been  beheaded  and  hiath- 
soinely  mangled.  The  father  of  two  of  the  murdered  children 
came  into  the  Traverse  July  15,  bringing  the  tragic  news.  He 
took  part  in  the  treaty,  but  sat  with  his  face  blackened  because 
of  his  bereavement. 

July  18  the  council  opened  under  the  brush  arbor.  Governor 
Ramsey  opened  the  proceedings  with  a  short  speech  and  was  fol- 
lowed by  Commissioner  Lea,  who  in  explanation  of  the  desires  of 
the  white  authorities  nuide  a  lengthy  address,  with  uuieh  in  it 
about  the  inefl'alde  goodness  and  gigantic  greatness  of  the  "(ireat 
Fatliei-"  of  tile  Indians   (the  President)   and  his  unselfish  desire 


40  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

that  they  sell  to  him  all  of  their  lands  as  far  west  at  least  as 
Lake  Traverse  and  the  Big  Sioux  river  down  to  the  ■western 
border  of  Iowa,  retaining  only  enough  laud  for  their  actual  resi- 
dence. The  Sissetons  and  Wahpatons  claimed  the  countr}'  from 
Traverse  des  Sioux  westward  to  the  Hue  indicated  and  the  com- 
missioners Avauted  all  of  it.  After  the  speeches  of  the  commis- 
sioners, iu  order  that  their  Avords  might  "sink  deep  into  the 
hearts"  of  the  Indians,  the  council  adjourned. 

The  following  day,  Saturday,  the  nineteenth,  the  council  was 
opened  with  a  speech  from  Star  Face  (or  "The  Orphan,"  as  the 
whites  called  him)  after  a  long  silence  and  apparently  much 
reluctance  to  speak,  and  when  he  spoke  he  said  simply  that  all 
his  young  men  had  not  arrived,  and  he  was  very  sorry  that  the 
council  had  opened  without  their  presence,  or  that,  as  he  expressed 
himself,  the  commissioners  were  "not  willing  to  shake  hands  with 
those  that  are  behind."  He  said  he  understood  that  some  one 
had  been  sent  to  meet  them  on  the  road  and  turn  them  back,  and 
this  made  him  feel  very  bad. 

Then  Sleepy  Eye,  the  old  Sisseton  chief,  who  had  been  one  of 
the  signers  of  the  Prairie  du  Chicn  treaty  of  1825,  had  visited 
Washington,  and  had  his  portrait  painted,  in  1824,  rose  and  said: 

"Fathers:  Your  coming  and  asking  me  for  my  country  makes 
me  sad;  your  saying  that  I  am  not  able  to  do  anything  with  my 
country  makes  me  still  more  sad.  The  young  men  who  are  coming 
(of  whom  Star  Face  had  spoken)  are  my  near  relatives,  and  I 
expect  certainly  to  see  them  here.  That  is  all  I  have  to  say.  I  am 
going  to  leave  and  that  is  the  reason  I  spoke." 

Then,  tiarning  to  the  other  Sissetons  he  said:  "Come;  let  us 
go  away  from  here."  Instantly  there  was  great  confusion.  The 
Indians  left  the  arbor  and  were  greeted  with  shouts  by  their 
brethren.  There  were  indications  that  the  council  was  at  an  end, 
and  there  was  much  excitement. 

Governor  Ramsey,  however,  knew  the  circumstances  and  neces- 
sities of  the  Indians  who  had  assembled.  Calmly  he  said  to  the 
interpreter:  "Tell  them  that  as  our  stock  of  provisions  is  short, 
and  they  seem  indisposed  to  talk,  there  AAdll  be  no  further  issue 
of  provisions  to  them."  Commissioner  Lea  added:  "Tell  them 
they  must  let  us  know  by  this  evening  if  they  really  wish  to  treat. 
If  we  do  not  hear  from  them  by  that  time  we  will  go  below  early 
tomorrow  morning."  The  coTUicil  then  adjourned  and  orders 
were  given  to  get  boats  ready  and  to  prepare  to  move  in  the 
morning. 

The  word  that  tlie.y  were  to  be  given  nothing  more  to  eat  pro- 
duced great  consternation  among  the  Indians.  Coming,  as  they 
had,  far  from  their  homes,  and  solely  for  the  benefit  of  the  whites, 
they  had  supposed  that  at  least  they  were  to  be  furnished  pro- 
visions while  attending  the  conference,  especially  in  view  of  the 


HISTORY  OP  RENVILLE  COUXTV  41 

riotous  good  times  tliat  the  whites  were  enjoying  out  of  the 
expense  fund.  Hunger  faced  the  Indians  and  their  families  on 
their  long  journey  back  to  their  villages.  The  white  men  were 
clearly  saj-ing:  "Give  us  your  land  at  our  own  terms  or  we 
will  get  it  anyhow  without  a  pretense  of  terms.  "We  are  in  a 
hurry,  do  not  delay  us,  do  not  wait  until  all  your  men  get  here ; 
enter  into  this  treaty  as  we  have  arranged  for  you  to  do,  or  take 
your  wives  and  children  and  go  hungry  until  you  can  get  back 
home  and  get  something  to  eat.  It  nuitters  not  to  us  that  at  our 
request  you  have  come  here  and  given  up  gathering  food  for 
weeks,  do  as  we  want  you  to  or  staiwe."  Foreseeing  the  inevitable 
the  Indians  agreed  to  again  go  into  council  on  the  following  Mon- 
day, and  the  officials  knowing  that  the  cause  of  the  white  man 
was  already  won  ordered  that  food  should  be  distributed. 

On  Monday,  the  twenty-first,  the  council  opened  at  noon.  The 
first  speaker  was  Sleepy  Eye,  who  sought  to  explain  his  viewpoint 
of  the  events  which  had  transpired.  He  said:  "On  the  day 
before  yesterday,  when  we  convened  together,  you  were  offended, 
I  hear,  at  what  was  said.  No  offense  or  disrespect  was  intended. 
"We  only  wanted  more  time  to  consider.  The  young  men  who 
made  a  noise  were  waiting  to  have  a  ball  play,  and  not  under- 
standing English  thought  the  council  was  over,  and  as  they  did 
so  made  the  disturbance,  for  which  we  are  very  sorry." 

Chief  Extends-His-IIead-Dress — or  Big  Curly  Head,  as  the 
whites  called  him — a  Sisseton  sub-chief,  said  :  "I  am  not  speaking 
for  myself,  but  for  all  that  are  here.  We  wish  to  understand  what 
we  are  about  before  we  act — to  know  exactly  the  proposition 
made  to  us  by  the  commissioners.  The  other  chiefs  and  all  our 
people  desire  that  you  will  make  out  for  us  in  writing  tlie  par- 
ticulars of  your  offer  for  our  lands,  and  when  we  have  this  paper 
fully  made  out  we  will  sit  down  on  the  hill  back  tliere  (indicating) 
consult  among  ourselves,  come  to  a  conclusion,  and  let  you  know 
what  it  is." 

Commissioner  Lea  then  quickly  prepared  on  paper  the  terms 
desired  hy  the  United  States,  which  had  been  declared  verbally 
at  a  previous  meeting,  and  which  were  as  follows  : 

"The  Indians  will  cede  to  the  United  States  all  their  lands  in 
the  State  of  Iowa,  as  well  as  their  lauds  east  of  a  line  from  the 
Red  river  to  Lake  Traverse,  and  thence  to  the  northwestern  cor- 
ner of  Iowa.  The  United  States  will  (1)  set  apart  a  suitable 
country  for  the  Indians  on  the  upper  waters  of  the  Minnesota  river 
for  their  future  suiiport;  will  (2)  pay,  say,  ili]  25,000  or  .$i;iO,000 
to  them  to  enable  them  to  arrange  their  affairs  preparatory  to 
removal,  to  pay  the  expense  of  removal,  and  to  subsist  themselves 
for  a  year  after  removal — part  of  the  above  sum  to  be  paid  in 
money  and  the  other  part  to  be  paid  in  goods  and  provisions; 
will    (3)   pay  the  Indians  an  annuity  of  $2.5,000  or  $30,000  for 


42  HISTORY  OF  RENNILLE  COINTY 

many  years — say  thirty  or  forty  years — part  iu  money,  part  in 
goods  and  provisions,  and  part  to  be  applied  to  such  other  bene- 
ficial objects  as  may  be  agreed  upon." 

The  Indians  deliberated  over  the  words  of  these  provisions 
and  let  tliem  "sink  into  their  hearts ""  for  two  days  and  nights. 
There  was  great  divergence  of  opinion  among  them,  the  inter- 
preters said.  The  majority  seemed  to  realize  that  their  lauds 
were  of  great  value  to  the  T'nited  States.  But  they  had  no 
proper  conception  of  the  actual  value  in  ilollars  and  cents  of  the 
great  domain  which  they  were  about  to  sell.  Their  idea  of  num- 
bers was  limited,  and  they  seemed  to  think  that  one  hundred  and 
forty-five  thousand  dollars  and  seventy-tive  cents  was  far  more 
money  than  a  million  dollars,  because  the  latter  was  the  shorter 
phrase  and  did  not  souiul  so  imjiosing  and  formidable.  When, 
therefore,  the  conniiissioners  made  an  offer,  the  poor  unlettered 
Indians  did  not  know  whether  it  was  a  fair  one  or  not.  Of  course 
they  appealed  to  their  traders  and  missionaries,  who  \niderstood 
the  Dakota  language,  but  the  explanations  offered  hardly 
explained.  Missionaries,  traders  and  officials  alike  were  deter- 
mined that  the  land  should  be  oi)ened  to  white  settlement.  The 
work  of  tlu'se  traders  and  missionaries  in  finally  eft'ecting  the 
treaty  was  constant  and  very  valuable  to  the  whites.  The  sei'v- 
ices  rendered  by  Reverend  Riggs,  one  of  the  official  interpreters, 
were  most  important.  "While  the  Indians  were  considering  the 
white  men's  proposition,  Riggs.  Sibley,  ]\IcLeod,  Brown  and  Fari- 
bault were  sent  for  at  all  hours  of  the  day  and  night  to  explain 
to  the  various  bands  the  provisions  of  the  treaty  and  their 
application.  The  Indians,  justly  suspicious,  would  not  be  satisfied 
with  the  meaning  of  any  provision  until  at  least  three  white  men, 
acting  singly,  had  read  it  and  interpreted  it  fully. 

July  22,  the  Indians,  after  much  deliberation,  proposed  cer- 
tain amendments,  which  they  said  they  would  insist  upon  as  a 
Ijart  of  their  treaty.  These  amendments  were  practically  unim- 
portant and  the  commissioners  readily  accepted.  The  treaty 
was  then  prepared  and  on  the  following  day  was  signed  by  the 
contracting  parties  by  Commissioners  Lea  and  Ramsey  and  the 
chiefs  and  the  head  men  of  the  Sisseton  and  Wahpeton  bands 
of  the  Sioux.  The  ceremony  of  signing  was  somewhat  impressive. 
After  the  white  commissioners  had  affixed  their  names  the 
Indians  selected  the  one  of  their  number  who  should  sign  first. 
This  was  Chief  Eeen-yang  3Ian-nie,  or  Running  Walker  (some- 
times called  "Big  Gun"),  chief  of  the  Lake  Traverse  band  of 
Sissetons.  Boldly  he  stepped  upon  the  platform  and  touched 
the  goose  (luill  pen  in  the  hands  of  Dr.  Foster.  Next  came  Chief 
Star  Face,  or  "The  Orphan."  The  commissioners  tried  to  hasten 
matters  and  to  conclude  the  signing  as  soon  as  possible,  but  at 
one  time  there  was  a  hitch  in  the  proceedings. 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  43 

Old  Sleepy  Eye,  who  liail  sakl  at  the  outset  that  he  was  sad 
at  heart  because  lie  had  to  sell  his  eountiy,  now  arose,  to  the 
great  apprehension  of  the  whites,  and  begged  to  say  a  few  words. 
He  said  that  many  of  the  Indians,  young  men  and  soldiers,  had 
without  consulting  their  chiefs,  conehuled  that  the  country  which 
they  were  asked  to  sell  was  worth  .1>3,r)00,01)().  hut  that  the  com- 
missioners were  trying  to  get  it  for  a  less  sum.  Th(>  young  men 
had  a  right  to  be  made  sati.sfied.  He  also  demanded  otiuu-  con- 
ditions : 

"You  will  take  this  treaty  paper  home  and  show  it  to  the 
Great  Father,"  said  Sleepy  Eye,  "but  Ave  want  to  keeji  a  copy 
here  so  that  we  may  look  at  it  and  see  whether  you  tell  us  the 
truth  or  not — see  whether  you  have  changed  it.  As  to  paying 
our  debts  to  our  traders  I  want  to  pay  tliem  wluit  is  right,  but  T 
would  like  to  know  how  much  1  owe  them.  If  they  have  charged 
me  ten  dollars  for  a  gun  1  want  them  to  tell  me,  and  if  they  have 
chargetl  me  ten  dollars  for  a  shirt  I  want  them  to  tell  me  that. 
I  am  a  poor  man  and  Jiave  difficulty  in  maintaining  myself,  but 
these  traders  have  good  coats  on.  The  prairie  country  in  which 
I  live  has  not  nuudi  wood  :  I  live  along  with  the  traders,  and  they 
are  also  poor,  but  T  do  not  want  to  have  to  provide  for  them.  I 
think  it  will  be  vei-y  hard  upon  us  when  the  year  becomes  white, 
and  I  would  like  to  have  some  provisions  given  nie  foi-  the  winter. 
I  would  like  to  have  what  is  mine  laid  on  one  side :  then  when 
we  have  tinished  this  biisiness  I  will  know  how  many  of  my  rela- 
tives I  can  have  mercy  u])on.'" 

Colonel  Lea  assured  Sleepy  Eye  that  the  money  which  the 
United  States  would  pay  for  the  Indian  land  would  amount  to 
more  tlian  the  young  men  desired — to  more  than  .i^;j,.')UO,U()(J.  He 
sharply  reproved  Sleepy  Eye  and  said:  "We  think  it  fortunate 
for  our  red  brothers  that  they  have  not  entrusted  the  entire 
treaty  to  Sleepy  Eye.  because  they  would  not  have  made  so 
gooii  ;i  bai'gain  \'itr  themselves  as  they  have."  As  a  matter  of 
fact  the  amount  named  in  the  Treaty  of  Traverse  des  Sioux  was 
less  than  half  of  the  amount  Sleepy  Eye  requested.  Out  of  the 
sum  named  in  tlie  treaty  the  traders  and  cost  of  I'emoval  were 
to  be  paid.  Of  what  remained  the  Indians  were  not  to  receive  one 
cent — merely  the  interest  for  a  certain  number  of  years.  Even 
some  of  this  interest  was  to  be  used  to  pay  white  teachers  and 
white  fai-mers.  And  as  a  climax  the  payment  of  that  part  of 
the  interest  which  remained  was,  just  before  the  massacre,  with- 
held and  delayed  under  various  pretenses.  Even  were  the  amount 
named  in  the  Treaty  of  IMendota  added  to  the  amount  named 
in  the  Treaty  of  Traver.se  des  Sioux  the  total  still  falls  far  short 
of  $.3,500,000. 

Then  Thunder  Face,  or  "Limping  Devil,"  a  sub-chief  of  the 
Sissetons,  whose  village  was  on  the  )n'esent  site  of  the  late  Gil- 


44  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  CorXTV 

fiUau  farm,  in  Redwood  oouuty,  came  forward  and  signed.  He 
was  followed  by  Sleepy  Eye,  who  came  gravely  forward  and 
touched  the  pen.  "Big  Curly"  was  next,  but  after  reaching  the 
platform  he  said:  "Before  I  sign  I  want  to  say  that  you  think 
the  sura  you  will  give  for  our  land  is  a  great  deal  of  money,  but 
you  must  well  understand  that  the  money  will  all  go  back  to  the 
whites  again,  and  the  country  will  remain  theirs."  The  Blunt- 
Headed-Arrow,  or  "The  Walnut,"  the  Handsome  Man,  the 
Gray  Thunder,  the  Good  Boy  and  other  noted  warriors  and  head 
men  signed  in  order.  Paee-in-the-Middle  was  introduced  by  his 
father,  "Big  Curly,"  who  said:  "This  is  my  son;  I  would  like 
you  to  invest  him  with  the  medal  which  you  have  given  to  me 
by  my  right  as  chief.  He  is  to  succeed  me  and  will  keep  the 
medal  for  you."  Red  Day  next  signed  and  was  followed  by 
Young  Sleepy  Eye,  nephew  of  and  successor  to  the  old  chief  upon 
the  latter 's  death  in  1859.  They  were  followed  by  old  Rattling 
lloccasin,  chief  of  a  small  band  which  generally  lived  in  the 
neighborhood  of  the  great  bend  of  the  Minnesota.  Old  Red  Iron 
-was  the  first  Wahpaton  chief  to  sign. 

The  treaty  was  signed  by  the  following  Sisseton  and  Wah- 
paton chiefs,  head  men  and  chief  soldiers: 

Chiefs— Running  Walker,  or  ' '  The  Gun  ; ' '  Star  Face,  or  ' '  The 
Orphan:"  Thunder  Face,  or  the  "Lame  Devil;"  Sleepy  Eye, 
Extends  the  Train  of  His  Head  Dress,  Walking  Spirit,  Red  Iron 
and  Rattling  (or  Sounding)  Moccasin. 

Head  Men— Blunt-Headed-Arrow,  or  "The  Walnut;"  Sound- 
ing Iron,  the  Flute,  Flies  Twice,  Mildly  Good,  Gray  Thunder, 
Iron  Frenchman,  Good  Boy,  Pace  in  the  Middle,  Iron  Horn,  Red 
Day,  Young  Sleepy  Eye,  Goes  Galloping  On,  Cloud  Man,  the 
Upper  End,  the  Standard  or  Flag,  Red  Face  (2)  (there  were  two 
Red  Faces),  Makes  Elks,  Big  Fire,  Moving  Cloud,  the  Pursuer, 
the  Shaking  Walker.  Iron  Lightning,  Reappearing  Cloud,  the 
Walking  Harp  that  Sounds,  the  Iron  that  Shoots  Walking  and 
Standing  Soldier. 

Of  the  Indian  signers  Red  Iron  and  Sleepy  Eye  were  the  most 
prominent  of  the  chiefs.  The  head-man,  "Goes  Galloping  On" 
(or  Anah-wang  Manne  in  Sioux),  was  a  Christian  Indian  and  a 
member  of  Reverend  Riggs'  Hazelwood  Republic.  He  had  been 
baptized  under  the  name  of  Simon  Anahwangmanne,  and  M^as 
commonly  called  Simon  by  the  whites.  He  distinguished  himself 
by  his  fidelity  to  and  services  for  the  whites  during  the  outbreak 
in  1862.  The  Iron-That-Shoots-Walking  was  a  Christian  comrade 
of  Simon  and  called  by  his  white  brethren  Paul  Mazah-koo-te- 
manne,  but  commonly  Paul  or  Little  Paul.  He  well  nigh  immor- 
talized himself  during  the  outbreak  by  his  efl:'orts  in  behalf  of 
the  white  prisoners. 

As  soon  as  the  signing  was  completed  a  considerable  quantity 


111«'J'UKY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  45 

of  i)rovisions  and  otlK-r  i)resonts,  iucluding  silver  medals,  were 
presented  to  the  Indians.  These  presents,  which  had  been  fur- 
nished by  the  government,  had  been  piled  up  and  displayed  some- 
what ostentatiously,  under  guard,  while  tlie  treaty  was  under 
discussion.  The  eomuiissioners  announced  that  the  presents  would 
be  distributed  "just  as  soon  as  the  treaty  is  signed,"  and  the 
announcement  was  sufficient  to  hasten  the  signing,  and  even  to 
remove  nuuiy  objections  to  the  terms  of  the  treaty.  The  members 
of  the  rank  and  file  of  tlie  great  Indian  host  present  kept  con- 
stantly calling  out  :  "Sign!  sign!  and  let  tlie  presents  be  given 
out." 

July  23,  the  next  morning  after  the  treaty  had  been  signed. 
Chief  Star  Face,  or  "The  Orphan,"  and  his  band  in  their  fullest 
and  richest  dress  and  decoration,  with  all  the  animation  they 
could  create,  gave  the  butfalo  dance  and  other  dances  and  diver- 
sions for  till'  entertainment  of  the  wliite  visitors.  A  delegation 
accompanied  the  commissioners  to  the  river  when  they  embarked 
for  Fort  Snelling  that  evening  and  gave  them  a  hearty  goodbye. 

A  similar  treaty  was  signed  at  Mendota,  August  5,  by  the 
lower  bands  of  the  Sioux,  the  Medawakantons  and  the  Wah- 
pakootas. 

When  the  ceremony  of  signing  the  treaty  was  completed, 
both  at  Traverse  des  Sioux  and  Mendota,  each  Indian  signer 
stepped  to  aiiotlici-  table,  where  laj-  another  paper,  which  he 
signed.  This  was  called  the  traders"  paper  and  was  an  agree- 
ment to  pay  the  "just  debts"  of  the  Indians,  including  those 
present  and  absent,  alive  and  dead,  owing  to  the  traders  and  the 
trading  comj)aiiy.  Some  of  the  iiccounts  were  nearly  thirty  years' 
standing  and  the  liidiaiis  who  contracted  them  were  dead.  It 
was  afterward  claimed  that  the  Indians  in  signing  the  "traders' 
paper"  thought  tiiey  were  merely  signing  a  third  duplicate  ox 
the  treaty.  The  matter  of  payment  had  been  discussed,  but 
Sleepy  Eye  had  justly  demanded  an  itemized  account,  and  the 
Indians  had  siii)i)ose(l  that  this  request  was  to  be  i-omplicd  with 
before  tlie\   agreed  to  pay. 

The  entire  territory  ceded  by  the  Sioux  Indians  was  declared 
to  be:  "All  their  lands  in  the  State  of  Iowa  and  also  all  their 
lands  in  the  Territory  of  Minnesota  lying  east  of  the  following 
line  to-wit:  Beginning  at  the  junction  of  the  Buffalo  river  with 
the  Red  river  of  the  North  (about  twelve  miles  north  of  Moor- 
head,  at  Georgetown  station,  in  Clay  countjO  ;  thence  along  the 
western  bank  of  said  Red  river  of  the'  North,  to  the  mouth  of 
the  Sioux  Wood  river;  thence  along  the  western  bank  of  said 
Sioux  Wood  rivei'  to  Lake  Traverse;  thence  along  the  western 
shore  of  said  lake  to  the  southern  extremity  thereof;  thence,  in 
a  direct  line,  to  the  juncture  of  Kanipeska  lake  with  the  Tehan- 
Ka-sna-duta,  or  Sioux  river;  thence  along  the  western  bank  of 


46  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

said  river  to  its  point  of  intersection  witli  tlie  uoi-tlu-rn  line  of 
the  State  of  Iowa,  iuehiding  all  islands  in  said  rivers  and  lakes." 

The  consideration  to  the  upper  bands  was  the  reservation 
twenty  miles  ^vide — ten  miles  on  each  side  of  the  ilinnesota — 
and  extending  from  the  western  boundary  to  the  mouth  of  the 
Yellow  Medicine  and  Hawk  creek,  and  $1,665,000,  payable  as 
follows :  To  enable  them  to  settle  their  alfairs  and  comply  with 
their  pi'esent  just  engagements,  and  to  enable  them  to  remove 
to  their  new  reservation  and  subsist  themselves  for  the  first  year, 
$275,000.  To  be  expended  under  the  direction  of  the  President, 
in  the  erection  and  establishment  of  manual  labor  schools,  mills 
and  blacksmith  shops,  opening  farms,  etc..  $30,000.  The  balance 
($1,360,000)  to  remain  in  trust  with  the  United  States  and  five 
per  cent  interest  thereon,  or  $68,000  to  be  paid  anniuilly  for  fifty 
years  from  July  1,  1852.  This  annuity  was  to  be  paid  as  follows: 
In  cash,  $40,000 ;  for  general  agricultural  improvement  and  civili- 
zation fvind,  $12,000:  for  goods  and  i)rovisions.  $10,000,  and  for 
education,  $6,000. 

The  written  copies  of  the  Traverse  des  Sioux  and  the  ]\Ieudota 
treaties,  duly  signed  and  attested,  were  forwarded  to  Washing- 
ton to  be  acted  upon  by  the  Senate  at  the  ensuing  session  of  Con- 
gress. An  unreasonably  long  delay  resulted.  Final  action  was 
not  had  until  the  following  siuumer,  when,  on  June  23,  the  Senate 
ratified  both  treaties  with  important  amendments.  The  provi- 
sions for  reservations  for  both  the  upper  and  lower  bands  were 
stricken  oiit,  and  substitutes  adopted,  agreeing  to  pay  10  cents  an 
acre  for  both  reservations,  and  authorizing  the  President,  with 
the  assent  of  the  Indians,  to  cause  to  be  set  apart  other  reserva- 
tions, which  were  to  be  within  the  limits  of  the  original  great 
cession.  The  provision  to  pay  $150,000  to  the  half-bloods  of  the 
lower  bands  was  also  stricken  out.  The  treaties,  with  the  changes, 
came  back  to  the  Indians  for  final  ratification  and  agreement  to 
the  alterations.  The  chiefs  of  the  lower  bands  at  first  objected 
very  strenuously,  but  finally,  on  Saturday,  September  4,  1852,  at 
Governor  Ramsey's  residence  in  St.  Paul,  they  signed  the  amended 
articles,  and  the  following  Monday  the  chiefs  and  head  men  of 
the  iipper  bands  affixed  their  marks.  As  amended,  the  treaties 
were  proclaimed  by  President  Fillmore,  February  24,  1853.  The 
Indians  were  allowed  to  remain  in  their  old  villages,  or,  if  they 
preferred,  to  occupy  their  reservations  as  originally  designated, 
until  the  President  selected  their  new  homes.  That  selection  was 
never  made,  and  the  original  reservations  were  finally  allowed 
them.  Congress  on  Julj'  31,  1854,  having  passed  an  act  by  which 
the  original  provisions  remained  in  force. 

The  Ramsey  Investigation  of  1853.  During  the  greater  part 
of  the  year  1853  public  attention  in  Minnesota  and  elsewhere 
in  the  country  was  directed  to  an  official  investigation  of  the  con- 


IIISTOKY   OF  UE.WILLE  COl  XTV  47 

duct  of  ex-Governor  Ramsey  in  connection  with  the  payment  to 
the  representative  of  the  traders  of  money  to  which  the  Indians 
supposed  themselves  entitled  under  the  treaties  of  1851.  The 
Indians  protested  against  paying  any  of  their  money  in  discharge 
of  their  debts  to  the  traders.  They  had  at  both  treaties  signed 
a  paper  providing  for  the  payment  of  these  debts,  but  subse- 
quently claimed  that  the  nature  of  the  "traders'  paper"  they 
had  signed  was  misrepresented  to  them  as  merely  another  copy 
of  the  treaty. 

At  Traverse  des  Sioux  the  Indians'  pi'otest  against  paying 
the  traders  took  the  form  of  menace  and  violence  on  the  part  of 
Chief  Red  Iron  and  liis  band,  and  quiet  was  secured  only  by  the 
soldiers  present  tlirough  the  seizing  and  imprisoning  of  Red  Iron. 
But  Governor  Ramsey  was  firm  in  his  purpose  that  the  traders 
should  be  paid.  At  Traverse  des  Sioux  he  paid  a  representative 
of  the  traders  $210,000  which,  he  said,  "paid  $431,7.35.78  of  Indian 
indebtedness;"  at  ilendota  he  paid  a  representative  of  the  traders 
$70,000,  which,  lie  said,  "accoi'ding  to  the  ti'aders"  books  of  account 
[uiid  $129,885.10  of  indebtedness." 

In  December,  1852,  charges  of  conspiracy  with  II.  H.  Sibley, 
Franklin  Steeple  and  others  to  defraud  the  Indians;  that  he  had 
made  uidawfnl  use  of  tlie  pviblic  funds  by  depositing  them  in  a 
private  bank  and  exchanging  government  gold  for  the  bills  of 
that  bank ;  that  he  had  been  guilty  of  tyrannical  conduct  toward 
the  Indians  in  connection  with  the  payment  of  the  .sums  due  them, 
were  made  against  Governor  Ramsey.  The  authors  of  the 
charges  were  Madison  Sweetzer.  of  'Traverse  des  Sioux,  and 
Colonel  D.  A.  Robertson,  of  St.  Paul.  Sweetzer  was  a  trader,  wlio 
had  rather  recently  located  at  Traverse  des  Sioux  and  was  con- 
nected willi  a  rival  company  to  that  ol'  pierre  Choteaii.  -li-..  & 
Company,  the  corporation  to  whicli  Sibley,  Steele  and  the  others 
charged  with  conspiracy  belonged.  Colonel  Robertson  was  the 
editor  of  the  Minnesota  Democrat,  \\lncli  was  the  organ  of  the 
factioii  controlled  by  II,  ^1.  Rice,  tlu-ii  the  opponent  of  Sibley 
and  Ramsey. 

Tlir  allegations  against  Governor  Ramsey  were,  that  lie  liad 
paid  the  traders  various  sums  of  money  without  the  I'ight  to  do 
so.  and  that  for  so  doing  he  had  l)cen  i)aid  by  the  beneficiai'ies, 
ami  thus,  in  effect,  had  been  lii'ihecl  to  violate  the  law  and  his 
duty. 

.\t  the  i-eqnest  of  ]\Ir.  Sibley,  tlieu  ilie  di'legate  iii  Congress, 
Senator  Gwin  of  California  secured  the  passage  of  a  Senate  reso- 
lution ("April  5,  1853.)  ordering  the  investigation  of  the  charges 
against  the  ex-governor.  At  the  same  time  the  governor's 
accounts  as  paymaster  under  the  treaties  were  held  nji  until  the 
investigation  should  be  concluded.  President  Pierce  appointed 
Richard  il.  Young,  of  Ohio,  and  Governor  Willis  A.  Gorman,  of 


48  HISTOKY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

Minnesota,  commissioners  to  investigate,  during  which  testimony 
Avas  given  by  ^hiilison  Sweetzer.  Dr.  Charles  Wolf  Borup  and 
Joseph  A.  Sire. 

The  investigation  and  the  taking  of  testimony  began  at  St. 
Paul  July  6,  and  was  concluded  October  7,  1853.  A  large  number 
of  witnesses  were  examined — whites,  Indians  and  mixed  bloods. 
Some  of  the  most  prominent  citizens  of  the  Territory  testified — 
Sibley,  Brown,  McLeod,  Steele,  Forbes  and  Alexander  Faribaidt, 
the  traders;  Reverends  Riggs  and  Williamson,  of  the  mission- 
aries; Dr.  Thomas  Foster,  Captain  W.  B.  Dodd,  Henry  Jackson 
and  David  Olmsted,  of  the  citizens ;  Waba.sha,  Little  Crow, 
Wacouta,  Red  Iron,  (irey  Iron,  Shakopee,  the  Star  and  Cloud 
Man,  of  the  Indians;  Captain  James  ilonroe,  of  the  army;  Indian 
Agent  Nathaniel  McLean,  and  many  others. 

Commissioner  Young  made  an  official  report  of  the  investiga- 
tion to  the  Commissioner  of  Indian  Affairs,  which  bears  date 
December  20,  1853.  This  report  criticised,  the  conduct  of  Gov- 
ernor Ramsey  in  depositing  the  government  funds  in  a  private 
bank  and  in  paying  out  large  amounts  in  bills  and  drafts  on  that 
bank  to  beneficiaries  under  tlie  treaty.  It  also  contained  some 
strictures  on  various  other  features  of  the  governor's  conduct. 
It  did  not,  however,  find  him  guilty  of  conspiring  with  the  traders, 
nor  of  being  paid  b\'  tlie  tradci-s  foi-  the  part  he  took  in  bringing 
about  the  signing  of  the  treaties.  February  24,  1854,  Senator 
James  Cooper,  of  Pennsylvania,  a  member  of  the  Committee  on 
Indian  Affairs,  presented  a  report  to  the  effect  that  Governor 
Ramsey  had  been  acquitted  by  the  committee  of  all  impropi'iety 
of  conduct,  and  that  one  of  the  complainants.  Colonel  D.  A. 
Robertson,  had  retracted  his  charges.  The  resolution  was  con- 
sidered by  unanimous  consent  and  the  committee  discharged. 

As  a  matter  of  fact,  the  guilt,  if  guilt  there  was,  was  shared 
by  all.  The  whites  desired  that  Minnesota  be  opened  to  settle- 
ment, the  tradei-s  demanded  vast  sums  for  the  goods  which  they 
had  already  sold  to  the  Indians  on  credit,  the  only  way  the 
Indians  could  be  persuaded  to  sign  the  treaties  was  through  the 
influence  of  the  traders,  and  the  traders  would  not  consent  to 
serve  unless  the  Indians  were  compelled  to  sign  the  "traders' 
paper."  Probably  the  Indians  had  no  idea  what  they  were  doing 
when  they  signed  the  paper,  and  even  of  the  treaty  which  they 
knowingly  signed  they  had  no  adequate  conception,  and  the 
white  men  who  negotiated  it  were  well  aware  that  if  the  Indians 
realized  the  truth  about  what  they  were  doing  they  would  never 
sign  even  the  treaty,  to  say  nothing  of  the  "traders'  paper."  It 
was  not  a  crime  of  individuals,  it  was  merely  one  of  the  steps  by 
which  one  race  through  guile,  trickery  and  force  of  numbers 
and  superiority  of  war  equipment  was  supplanting  another  and 
Tuore  primitive  people. 


IIT^TORY  OF  KF.XVTIJ.E  rOJ-XTY  49 

Treaty  of  1858.  June  19,  1858,  the  goveruineiit  made  a  treaty 
witli  eertaiii  selected  chiefs  and  braves  of  the  Medawakantou, 
Wahpakoota,  Sisseton  and  Wahpaton  bands  of  Sioux  for  the 
cession  of  their  reservation,  ten  miles  in  width,  on  the  north 
side  of  the  Minnesota,  and  extending  from  the  west  line  of  the 
State  to  Little  Rock  creek,  four  miles  east  of  Fort  Ridgely.  The 
area  purchased  amounted  to  about  8,000,000  acres,  and  the  price 
to  be  paid  was  subsequently  (but  not  until  .June  27,  1860)  fixed 
by  the  Senate  at  thirty  cents  an  acre.  The  Indians  agreed  that, 
in  the  aggregate  U)v  the  four  bands,  the  sum  of  $140,000  might 
be  taken  from  the  purchase  price  to  pay  their  debts  owing  to 
the  traders,  or,  as  the  treaty  expressed  it,  "to  satisfy  their  just 
debts  and  obligations." 

The  influx  of  white  settlers  into  the  country  of  the  Minnesota 
valley,  where  were  some  of  the  finest  lands  in  the  State,  had  been 
very  large  after  the  Indian  title  to  the  greater  part  of  the 
country  had  been  extinguished.  The  magnificent  domain  com- 
prising a  great  part  of  what  are  now  the  southern  portions  of 
Renville,  Chippewa,  Swift  and  Big  Stone  counties  was  looked 
upon  with  covetous  eyes  by  the  homeseekers.  The  waves  of 
imnugration  beat  against  the  legal  barrier  which  surrounded  this 
fine  fertile  expanse,  and  there  was  a  great  clamor  that  the  bar- 
riers be  removed.  "The  counti-y  is  too  good  for  the  Indian," 
said  the  whites.  The  Indians  themselves  had  not  to  any  con- 
siderable extent  occupied  the  north  half  of  their  reservation. 
Their  villages  and  nearly  all  of  their  tepees — except  about  Big 
Stone  lake — were  situated  in  the  south  half.  But  a  majority  of 
the  Indians,  owing  to  their  previous  experiences,  were  opposed 
to  selling  any  portion  of  their  reserve.  Some  of  the  head  chiefs 
and  the  headmen,  however,  were  willing  to  sell  the  north  side 
strip  if  they  could  get  a  good  price  for  it.  Major  Joseph  R. 
Brown,  then  the  Sioux  agent,  consulted  with  them  and  at  last  a 
manber  of  them  agreed  to  accompany  him  to  Washington  to 
make  a  treaty.  Not  all  of  the  sub-chiefs  nor  all  of  the  head-men 
could  be  induced  to  go;  some  of  them  were  opposed  to  the  sale 
of  the  land,  and  others  were  afraid  of  the  results  of  a  hostile 
public  sentiment.  If  required  all  of  Major  Brown's  great 
influence  with  the  Sioux  to  effect  the  important  negotiations. 
The  Indians  went  to  Washington  in  something  like  imposing 
array.  Major  Brown  gave  high  silk  hats  and  other  articles  of 
the  white  man's  adornment  to  those  who  would  wear  them,  and 
there  accompanietl  the  party  a  retinue  of  whites  and  mixed 
bloods  from  Minnesota.  A.  J.  Campbell  (commonly  called  "Joe" 
Campbell)  was  the  official  interpi-eter,  but  assisting  him  was  the 
shrewd  old  Scotchman,  Andrew  Robertson,  and  his  mixed  blood 
son,  Thomas  A.  Robertson.     Otiicr  members  of  the   niiifv  were: 


50  HISTORY  OP  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

Nathaniel  R.  Brown,  John  Bowling,  Charlie  Crawford  and  James 
R.  Roche. 

On  behalf  of  the  L'nited  States  the  treaty  was  signed  by 
Charles  E.  Mix,  then  Commissioner  of  Indian  Affairs.  Sisseton 
and  Wahpaton  Indians  who  signed  it  were  these: 

Sissetons  and  Wahpatons — Chiefs,  Red  Iron,  Scarlet  Plume, 
and  Extends  His  Train.  Headmen:  Stumpy  Horn,  The  Planter, 
Walks  on  Iron,  Paul  ilali-zali-koo-te-ilannc  .lolm  Olher  Day.  and 
Strong  Voiced  Pipe. 

The  small  number  of  dignitaries  named  assumed  to  act  for  the 
entire  Sioux  of  Minnesota.  It  is  not  a  matter  of  surprise  that 
there  was  dissatisfaction  among  the  bands  on  account  of  the 
limited  list  of  their  representatives  on  so  important  an  occasion. 

After  the  treaty  had  ])een  signed  the  Indians  were  sumptu- 
ously entertained,  given  broadclotli  suits,  high  hats,  and  patent 
leather  shoes  to  -wear,  and  had  a  grand  good  time,  all  at  the  ex- 
pense of  the  Government.  They  were  photographed  and  taken 
to  the  theatres,  and  allowed  to  return  home  by  way  of  Balti- 
more, New  York,  Philadelphia  and  Cliicago.  When  they  re- 
turned to  Minnesota  their  tales  of  the  magnificence  and  strength 
of  the  whites  were  listened  to  by  their  people  with  interest  and 
in  some  measure  reconciled  them  to  what  had  been  done. 

The  opening  of  the  '"north  ten-mile  strip,"'  as  the  land  was 
called,  was  of  great  benefit  to  the  development  of  Minnesota, 
at  least  for  a  time.  Settlers  came  in  considerable  nximbers  and  . 
the  country  was  improving  rapidly  when  the  Civil  War  inter- 
rupted the  peaceful  course  of  eveiits.  Then  in  1862  came  the 
Sioux  Outbreak  and  all  of  the  civilization  on  the  ten-mile  strip 
was  pushed  oil'  by  a  great  wave  of  blood  and  fire. 

Agencies  and  Forts.  Tlie  reservations  as  o\itlined  in  the 
treaties,  embraced  a  tract  of  land  twenty  miles  wide,  ten  miles 
on  each  side  of  the  Minnesota,  extending  from  tlie  movith  of  the 
Little  Rock  (Mud  creek)  westward  to  Lake  Traverse.  The  di- 
viding line  between  the  Upper  and  Lower  reservations  was  a 
line  drawn  north  and  south  through  the  mouth  of  Hawk  Creek. 
Thus  Renville  county  for  a  ten  mile  strip  along  the  Minnesota 
was  in  the  Lower  reservation,  except  for  a  strip  west  of  Hawk 
Creek. 

Tlie  removal  of  the  Indians  to  their  reservations  was  inter- 
mittent, interrupted  and  extended  over  a  period  of  several  years. 

With  the  establishment  of  tlie  new  Indian  reserve  and  tlie 
removal  of  the  Indians  thereto,  came  tlie  necessity  of  a  new 
milittiry  post  in  IMinnesota.  The  concentration  of  so  man.y  In- 
dians upon  an  area  really  small  in  comparison  with  the  country 
a  part  of  wliich  they  had  occupied,  and  all  of  which  they  claimed 
to  own,  rendered  the  situation  important  and  worthy  of  atten- 
tion.    A   iiiilitai-y    post   was   iieeessai'v   to   preserve   order   sliould 


HISTORY  OF  EENVILLE  COUNTY  51 

tlu'  Indians  become  dissatisfied.  There  were  to  be  two  Indian 
agencies  for  tlie  Indians  on  the  reservation.  The  Upper  agency, 
for  the  Sissetous  and  Walipatons,  was  established  near  the  mouth 
of  the  Yellow  Medicine  and  the  Lowei%  for  the  Medawanton  and 
AVahpakoota  bands,  was  placed  about  six  miles  east  of  the  mouth 
of  the  liedwood.  Both  agencies  were  on  the  south  bank  of  the 
Minnesota  river. 

Tlie  matter  of  the  new  military  post  was  called  to  the  atten- 
tion of  C.  31.  Conrad,  then  Secretary  of  War,  and  General  Win- 
field  Scott,  then  commanding  the  regular  army,  by  Delegate 
Henry  H.  Sibley. 

General  Scott  concuj-red  in  Sibley  "s  recommendation,  and 
the  Secretary  of  War  approved  it,  and  issued  the  necessary  or- 
der. In  the  fall  of  1852  Captain  Napoleon  Jackson  Tecumseh 
Dana,  then  of  the  quartermaster's  department,  and  Colonel 
Francis  Lee,  then  in  command  at  Fort  Snelling,  were  ordered 
to  select  a  suitable  site  for  the  new  fort,  "on  the  St.  Peter's 
river,  above  the  mouth  of  the  Blue  Earth." 

In  tlie  latter  uart  of  November,  with  an  escort  of  dragoons 
from  Fort  Snelinig  and  after  a  three  days'  march  in  the  snow, 
the  officers  reached  Lafrauiboise's-  trading  post,  at  the  Little 
Rock.  Five  miles  above  the  Rock,  on  the  crest  of  the  high  bluff 
on  the  north  side  of  the  ilinnesota,  the  site  was  fixed. 

The  new  post  was  named  Fort  Ridgely,  in  honor  of  Major 
Randolph  Ridgely.  a  gallant  officer  of  the  regular  army  from 
Maryland,  wlio  died  of  iiijui-ies  received  at  the  battle  of 
iIontere\-. 

When  Fort  Ridgely  was  estalilislinl  Foit  Kiley,  Kansas,  was 
ordered  built.  At  the  sauu^  time  Fort  Dodge,  Iowa,  and  Foi-t 
Scott,  Kansas,  were  ordered  discontinued  and  broken  up. 

Fort  Ridgely  took  the  place  of  Fort  Dodge,  and  Fort  Riley 
was  substituted  for  Fort  Scott.  The  fii-st  garrison  at  Ridgely 
was  composed  of  Companies  C  and  K  of  the  Sixth  Infantry,  and 
the  first  commander  was  Captain  James  Monroe,  of  Company-K. 
Companies  <'  and  K  wint  up  on  the  st(>amboat  West  Newton 
from  Fort  Sueiliny,  luit  lalcr  were  joined  by  Company  E,  wiiich 
marched  across  the  count i\  from  l-'oit  Dodge,  and  arrived  in 
June,  18.5.3,  when  woi'k  on  the  buildings  was  begun.  When  Com- 
pany E  arrived  its  captain,  lirevel  Major  Samuel  Wootls,  ])revi- 
ously  Well  identified  with  .Minnesota  history  took  command  by 
virtue  of  his  rank.  The  woik  of  constructing  the  fort  was  in 
charge  of  Captain  Dana.  The  further  history  of  Foi't  Ridgely 
is  found  elsewhere  in  tliis  Axoik. 


52  IIISTOKV  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

CHAPTER  IV. 
CLAIM  OF  TITLE. 

Spain — France — England — United  States — Louisiana  Purchase — 
Louisiana  District  of  Indiana — Louisiana  Territory — Missouri 
Territory — Michigan  Territory — Wisconsin  Territory — Iowa 
Territory — Minnesota  Territory — Minnesota   State. 

Th(_'  history  of  the  early  goverumeiital  jurisdietiou  of  the 
valley  of  the  Minnesota  river  is  formulated  with  some  difficulty, 
as,  prior  to  the  nineteenth  century,  the  interior  of  the  country 
was  so  little  known  and  the  maps  upon  which  claims  and  grants 
were  founded  were  so  meager,  as  well  as  incorrect  and  unre- 
liable, that  descriptions  of  boundaries  and  locations  as  given 
in  the  early  treaties  are  vague  in  the  extreme,  and  very  difficult 
of  identification  with   present-day   lines   and   locations. 

The  Hon.  J.  V.  Brower.  a  scholarly  authority  uiion  tliis  sub- 
ject, says  ("The  Mississippi  River  and  Its  Sources'"  i  :  "Spain, 
by  virtue  of  the  discoveries  'of  Cohuiibus  and  others,  confirmed 
to  her  by  papal  grant  (that  of  Alexander  VI,  May  4.  1493),  may 
be  said  to  have  been  the  first  Eui'0i)ean  owner  of  the  entire  valley 
of  the  Mississippi,  Init  slie  never  used  this  claim  as  a  ground 
foi'  taking  formal  possession  of  this  ])art  of  her  domains  other 
than  incidentally  involved  in  I)e  Soto's  doings.  Tlie  feeble  ob- 
jections whicli  she  made  in  the  next  two  centin-ies  after  the 
discovery  to  other  nations  exploring  and  settling  North  America 
were  successfully  overcome  l)y  the  force  of  accomplished  facts. 
Tile  imme  of  Florida,  now  so  limited  in  its  application,  was  first 
applied  by  the  Spaniards  to  the  greater  part  of  the  eastern  half 
of  North  America,  commencing  at  the  Gulf  of  ^Mexico  and  pro- 
ceeding northward  indefinitely.  This  expansiveness  of  geograph- 
ical view  was  paralleled  later  by  the  definition  of  a  New  France 
of  still  greater  extent,  which  practically  included  all  the  conti- 
nent. 

"L'Esearbot,  in  his  history  of  New  France,  written  in  1617. 
says,  in  reference  to  this:  "Thus  our  Canada  has  for  its  limits  on 
the  west  side  all  the  lands  as  far  as  the  sea  calleil  the  Pacific, 
on  this  side  of  the  Tropic  of  Cancer:  on  the  south  the  islands  of 
the  Atlantic  sea  in  the  direction  of  Cuba  and  the  Spanish  land  : 
on  the  east  and  the  northern  sea  which  bathes  New  France; 
and  on  the  north  the  land  said  to  be  unknown,  toward  the  icy 
sea  as  far  as  the  arctic  pole." 

"Judging  also  by  the  various  grants  to  individuals,  noble  and 
otherwise,  and  'companies,"  which  gave  away  the  country  in 
latitudinal    strips    extending    from   the    Atlantic    westward,    the 


HISTORY  OF  RENVJLLE  COI'NTY  53 

English  were  not  fai-  bdiind  tlie  Spaniards  and  Freneli  in  this 
kind  of  etfrontcry.  As  English  colonists  never  settled  on  the 
ilississippi  in  pursuance  of  sucli  grants,  and  never  performed 
any  acts  of  authority  there,  such  shadowy  sovereignties  may  be 
disregarded  here,  in  spite  of  the  fact  that  it  was  considered  neces- 
sary, many  years  later,  for  various  states  concerned  to  convey 
to  tlie  United  States  tlicir  more  or  k'ss  conflicting  claims  to  ter- 
ritory ■which  lay  far  to  the  westward  of  their  own  actual  borders. 
■"Tlius.  in  tlie  most  arbitrary  nuuuier,  did  the  Jlississippi 
river,  though  yet  unknown,  become  the  property,  successively, 
of  the  Iberian,  (iaulisli  and  Anglo-Saxon  races — of  three  peo- 
ples who,  in  later  times,  by  di|)l()iiiacy  and  force  of  arms,  strug- 
gled for  an  actual  occupancy.  Practically,  lidwever,  the  upper 
]Mississippi  valley  nmy  be  considered  as  having  been  in  the  first 
place  Canadian  soil,  for  it  was  Frenchmen  from  Canada  who 
first  visited  it  and  traded  with  its  various  native  inhabitants. 
The  further  prosecution  of  his  discoveries  by  La  Salle,  in  1682, 
extended  Canada  as  a  French  possession  to  the  Gulf  of  Mexico, 
though  he  did  not  use  the  name  of  Canada  nor  yet  that  of  New 
France.  He  preferred  to  call  the  entire  country  watered  by 
the  ilississippi  river  and  its  tributaries,  from  its  uttermost  source 
to  its  mouth,  by  the  new  name  he  had  already  invented  for  the 
pui-jMise — Louisiana.  The  names  of  Canada  and  New  France 
had  been  inditferently  used  to  express  about  the  same  extent  of 
territory,  but  the  name  of  Louisiana  now  came  to  supersede  them 
in  being  applied  to  the  conjectural  regions  of  the  West.  Al- 
though La  Salle  has  apiilied  the  latter  expression  to  the  entire 
valley  of  the  Mississi])])i,  it  was  iu)t  generally  used  in  that  sense 
after  his  time;  the  U])|)er  |)art  of  the  region  was  called  Canada, 
and  the  lower  Louisiana;  but  the  actual  dividing  line  between 
the  two  provinces  was  not  absolutely  established,  and  their 
names  and  boinidaries  were  variously  indicated  on  published 
maps.  Speaking  generally,  the  Canada  of  the  eighteenth  cen- 
t>iry  included  the  Great  Lakes  and  the  country  drained  ])y  their 
ti-ibutaries :  the  northern  one-foiu'th  of  the  i)resent  state  of 
Illinois — that  is,  as  much  as  lies  north  of  the  mouth  of  the  Rock 
river;  all  the  regions  l.ving  north  of  the  noi'thern  watershed  of 
the  IMisso)u-i,  and  finall.v  the  valley  of  the  ujijier  Missouri  itself." 
This  would  include  Renville  county. 

But  it  is  now  necessary  to  go  back  two  centuries  previous 
and  consider  the  various  explorations  of  the  Mississippi  upon 
whicli  M'ere  based  the  claims  of  the  European  monarchs.  Pos- 
sibly the  mouth  of  the  Mississippi  had  been  reached  by  Spaniards 
previous  to  1541,  possibly  Hibernian  missionaries  as  early  as 
the  middle  of  the  sixth  century,  or  Welsh  emigrants  (Madoe), 
about  1170,  discovered  North  America  by  way  of  the  Gulf  of 
Mexico,  but  historians  gave  to  Fei-uando  de  Soto  and  his  band  of 


54  HISTORY  OF  REXVllJ.E  COUNTY 

advt'iitiirers  the  credit  of  having:  beeu  tlie  first  white  men  to 
actually  view  the  ^Mississippi  ou  its  course  tlirougli  the  interior 
of  the  coutiueut  aiul  of  being  tlie  fii'st  ones  to  actually  traverse 
its  waters.  De  Soto  siprhted  the  ^Mississippi  in  ilay,  1541,  at  the 
head  of  an  exiJedition  in  seai'cli  of  gold  anil  jireeious  stones.  In 
the  following  spring,  weary,  with  hope  long  deferred,  and  worn 
out  with  his  adventures,  De  Soto  fell  a  victim  to  disease  and 
died  May  21,  1541.  His  fdllowers,  greatly  reduced  in  number  by 
sickness,  after  wandering  about  in  a  vain  .searching,  built  three 
small  vessels  and  descended  to  the  mouth  of  the  ^Mississippi, 
l)eing  the  first  white  men  to  reach  the  outlet  of  that  great  river 
from  the  interior.  However,  they  were  too  weary  and  discour- 
aged to  lay  claim  to  the  country,  and  took  no  notes  of  the  region 
through  which  they  passed. 

In  1554  Jauu's  Cartier,  a  Frenchuian,  discovered  the  St.  Law- 
rence, and  explored  it  as  far  as  the  present  site  of  Quebec.  The 
next  year  he  ascendecl  the  river  to  ]Mont  Real,  the  lofty  hill  for 
which  Montreal  was  named.  Thereafter  all  the  country  drained 
by  the  St.  Lawrence  was  claimed  by  the  French.  ]Many  years 
later  the  King  of  France  granted  the  ""basin  of  the  St.  Lawrence 
and  all  the  rivers  flowing  through  it  to  the  sea."'  to  a  company, 
whose  leader  was  Champlain,  the  founder  of  Quebec,  which  be- 
came the  capital  of  New  France,  whose  then  unexplored  territoi-y 
stretclied  westward,  to  well  within  the  boundaries  of  what  is  now 
ilinnesota.  In  1613-15  Champlain  explored  the  Ottawa  river, 
and  the  Georgian  bay  to  Lake  Huron,  and  missions  were  estab- 
lished in  the  Huron  country.  ^Missionaries  and  fur  traders  were 
the  most  active  explorers  of  the  new  possessions.  They  followed 
the  shores  of  the  Great  Lakes  and  then  penetrated  further  and 
further  into  the  wilderness.  As  they  went  they  trieil  to  make 
friends  of  the  red  men.  established  trading  posts  and  raised  the 
Christian  cross,  hi  1(141  Jogues  and  Rayiidia\dt,  Jesuits,  aftci-  a 
long  and  perilous  voyage  in  frail  canoes  and  bateaux,  reached 
the  Sault  Ste.  ilarie,  where  they  heard  of  a  large  river,  the  ^Mish- 
is-ip-e.  flowing  southward  to  the  sea,  and  of  a  powerf\d  Indian 
tribe  dwelling  near  its  headwaters.  Stories  of  vast  fertile  plains, 
of  numbei'less  streams,  of  herds  of  buffalo,  and  of  many  jjcople, 
in  regions  fai'  to  the  west  and  south,  roused  missionaries  and 
traders  anew,  and  the  voyages  and  trips  of  the  explorers  became 
more  frequent. 

In  1659-60  Radisson  and  Grosseilliers,  |)roceeding  westward 
from  Lake  Superior,  possibly  entered  what  is  now  ilinnesota. 
They  spent  some  time  in  the  "forty  villages  of  the  Dakotas, "' 
possibly  in  the  vicinity  of  ]Mille  Lacs,  and  were,  it  has  been  con- 
tended, the  first  white  men  to  set  foot  on  the  soil  of  this  state. 
Tlie  contention  that  these  adventurers  spent  a  part  of  the  years 
1655-56  on  Prairie  Ishnxl.  in  the  ^Mississippi  just  above  Red  Wing, 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  55 

is  (lis|iiitf(l  by  some  historians,  lint  still  forms  an  interesting 
subject  for  study  and  conjecture. 

Some  writers  also  claim  tliat  tlie  Pi-enchniau,  Sieur  Nicollet, 
who  should  not  be  confuseil  \vitli  the  Nicollet  of  a  later  date, 
reached  the  Mississippi  in  1639. 

Rene  Menard,  a  Jesuit  missionary,  reached  the  Mississippi  in 
1661  by  Avay  of  Wisconsin.  Tills  was  twelve  years  prior  to  its 
discovery  by  Marquette  and  Joliet,  and  to  Menard  historians  in 
general  give  the  honor  of  the  discovery  of  the  upper  waters  of 
the  great  river.  Menard  ascended  the  Mississippi  to  tlie  mouth 
of  the  Black  river,  Wisconsin,  and  was  lost  in  a  forest  near  the 
source  of  that  stream  while  attempting  to  carry  the  gospel  to 
the  Ilurons.  His  sole  companion  "called  him  and  sought  him, 
but  he  made  no  reply  and  could  not  be  found."  Some  years 
later  his  camp  kettle,  robe  and  jirayer  book  were  seen  in  the 
possession  of  the  Indians. 

In  the  summer  of  1663  the  intelligence  of  the  fate  of  Menard 
reached  Quebec,  and  on  August  8,  1665,  Father  Claude  AUouez, 
who  had  anxiously  waited  two  years  for  the  means  of  convey- 
ance, embarked  for  Lake  Superior  with  a  party  of  French  trad- 
ers and  Indians.  He  visited  the  ^Minnesota  shores  of  Lake  Supe- 
rior in  the  fall  of  166.'),  established  the  Mission  of  the  Holy  Spii'it 
at  La  Pointe,  now  in  Wisconsin,  and  it  is  said  "was  the  first  to 
write  'Messipi,'  the  name  of  the  great  river  of  the  Sioux  coun- 
try," as  he  heard  it  pronounced  by  the  Chippewas,  or  rather  as  it 
sounded  to  his  ears. 

May  13,  1673.  Jaques  IMarquette  and  Louis  Joliet,  the  former 
a  priest  and  the  latter  the  commander  of  the  expedition,  set  out 
with  five  assistants,  and  on  June  17  of  the  same  year  reached  the 
Mississippi  at  the  present  site?  of  Prairie  du  Chien,  thence  con- 
tinuing down  the  river  as  far  as  the  mouth  of  the  Illinois,  which 
they  ascended,  subsequently  reaching  the  lakes. 

In  1678,  the  Sieur  De  Luth,  Daniel  Graysolon,  under  commis- 
sion from  the  governor  of  Canada,  set  ovit  from  Qnebee,  to  ex- 
plore the  country  west  of  the  Lake  Superior  region.  He  was  to 
take  possession  of  it  in  the  name  of  the  king  of  France,  and 
secure  the  trade  of  the  native  tribes.  De  Luth  entered  Minne- 
sota in  1679,  reaching  the  great  Sioux  village  of  Kathio  at  Mille 
Lacs,  on  July  2.  "On  that  day,"  he  says,  "I  had  the  honor  to 
plant  His  Majesty's  arms  where  a  Frenchman  never  before  had 
been." 

In  1680  Accault  planted  the  French  royal  arms  near  the 
source  of  the  Mississippi. 

La  Salle,  however,  was  tiie  first  to  lay  claim  to  the  entire 
valley  in  the  name  of  his  sovereign.  After  achieving  perpetual 
fame  by  tlic  discovery  of  tin-  Ohio  I'iver  (1670-71),  he  conceived 


56  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

the  pLan  of  reaching  the  Paeitie  by  way  of  tlie  Northern  Missis- 
sippi, at  that  time  unexplored  and  supposed  to  be  a  waterway 
connecting  the  two  oceans.  Fronteuae,  then  governor-general 
of  Canada,  favored  the  plan,  as  did  the  king  of  France.  Accord- 
ingly, gathering  a  eompanj-  of  Frenchmen,  he  piu-sued  his  way 
through  the  lakes,  made  a  portage  to  the  Illinois  river,  and,  Jan- 
uary 4,  1680,  reached  what  is  now  Lake  Peoria,  in  Illinois.  From 
there,  in  February,  he  sent  Hennepin  and  two  companions  to  ex- 
plore the  upi)er  ^Mississippi.  During  this  voyage  Hennepin  and 
the  men  accompanying  him  were  taken  by  the  Indians  as  far 
north  as  Mille  Lacs.  He  also  discovered  St.  Anthony  Falls. 
Needing  reinforcements.  La  Salle  again  returned  to  Canada.  In 
January,  1682,  with  a  band  of  followers,  he  started  on  his  third 
and. greatest  expedition.  February  6,  they  reached  the  ]\Iissis- 
sippi  by  way  of  Lake  ilieliigan  and  the  Illinois  river,  and  March 
6,  discovered  the  three  great  passages  by  which  the  river  dis- 
charges its  waters  into  the  Gulf.  Two  days  later  they  re-as- 
cended the  rivei'  a  sliort  distance,  to  find  a  high  spot  out  of  the 
reach  of  inundations,  and  there  erected  a  cohiinn  and  planted  a 
cross,  proclaiming  with  due  ceremony  the  authority  of  the  king 
of  France.  Thus  did  the  wliole  Mississippi  valley  pass  under  the 
nominal  sovereignty  of  the  French  monarchs. 

The  first  definite  claim  to  the  upper  ^Mississippi  is  eml)odied 
in  a  paper,  still  preserved,  in  the  colonial  archives  of  France, 
entitled  "The  record  of  the  taking  possession,  in  his  majesty's 
name,  of  the  Bay  des  Puants  (Green  bay),  of  the  lake  and  rivers 
of  the  Ontagamis  and  ]Maskoutins  (Fox  river  and  Lake  Winne- 
bago), of  the  river  Ouiskonclie  (Wisconsin),  and  that  of  the 
Mississippi,  the  country  of  the  Nadouesioux  (the  .Sioux  or  Da- 
kota Indians),  the  rivers  St.  Croix  and  St.  Pierre  (^Minnesota), 
and  other  places  more  remote.  May  8.  1689."  (F.  B.  0  "Calla- 
han's translation  in  1855,  published  in  Vol.  9,  page  418,  "Docu- 
ments Relating  to  the  Colonial  History  of  the  State  of  New 
York."")  This  claim  was  made  by  PerroT,  and  the  ]iroclamation 
is  supposed  to  have  been  issued  from  Fort  St.  Antonie  on  the 
nortlieastern  shore  of  Lake  Pepin,  about  six  miles  from  its  mouth. 

The  previous  proclamations  of  St.  Lusson  in  1671  at  the  out- 
let of  Lake  Superior,  of  De  Lutli.  in  1679.  at  the  west  end  of  the 
same  lake  and  at  ^lille  Lacs,  strengthened  tlie  French  claims  of 
sovereignty. 

For  over  eiglit  decades  thereafter,  the  claims  of  France  were, 
tacitly  at  least,  recognized  in  Europe.  In  1763  there  came  a 
change.  Of  this  change  A.  N.  Winchell  (in  Vol.  10,  "Minnesota 
Historical  Society  Collections"")  writes:  "The  present  eastern 
bo^tndary  of  Minnesota,  in  part  (tliat  is  so  far  as  the  ^lississipjn 
now  forms  its  eastern  boundary),  has  a  history  beginning  at  a 
very  early  date.     In  1763,  at  the  end  of  that  long  struggle  during 


TirSTOKY  OF  REXYTLLE  CorXTY  57 

whieli  England  jjasscd  many  a  mile  post  iu  her  i-ace  for  world 
empire,  while  France  lost  nearly  as  much  as  Britain  gained — 
that  struggle,  called  in  America,  the  Fi-ench  aud  Indian  War — 
the  Mississijtpi  river  became  an  international  boundary.  The 
articles  of  the  definite  treaty  of  peace  were  signed  at  Paris,  on 
February  10,  1763.  The  seventh  article  made  the  ilississippi, 
from  its  source  to  about  the  31st  degree  of  north  latitude,  the 
boundary  between  the  English  colonies  on  this  continent  and  the 
French  Louisiana.  The  text  of  the  article  is  as  follows  (Pub- 
lished in  the  "(lentlciiian's  Magazini',"  ^^tl.  33,  jiages  lL'1-126, 
March,  1763)  : 

"VII.  In  order  to  re-establish  peace  on  solid  and  durable 
foundations,  and  to  remove  forever  all  subjects  of  dispute  to 
the  limits  of  the  Ri-itish  and  Fi-eueh  Territories  on  the  continent 
of  America;  that  foi'  tiie  t'uture  the  confines  between  the  do- 
mains of  his  Britannic  majesty  and  those  of  his  most  Christian 
majesty  (the  king  of  France)  in  that  part  of  the  world,  shall  be 
fixed  irrevocably  by  a  line  drawn  down  the  middle  of  the  river 
^Mississippi,  from  its  source  to  the  river  Iberville,  and  from 
thence,  by  a  line  drawn  along  the  middle  of  this  river,  and  the 
Lake  Maurepas  and  Pontchartrain,  to  the  sea."  The  boundary 
from  the  soui-ce  of  the  river  farther  north,  or  west,  or  in  any 
dii'eetion,  was  not  given;  it  was  evidently  supposed  that  it 
would  lie  of  no  im])ortance  for  many  centuries  at  least. 

This  seventh  article  of  the  definite  treaty  was  identical  with 
the  sixth  article  in  the  preliminary  treaty  of  peace  signed  by 
England,  Spain  and  France,  at  Fontainbleau,  Xovember  3,  1762. 
On  that  same  day,  November  3,  1762,  the  French  and  Spanish 
representatives  had  signed  another  act  by  which  the  French 
king  "ceded  to  his  cousin  of  Spain,  and  his  successors  forever 
*  *  *  all  the  country  known  by  the  name  of  Louisiana,  including 
New  Orleans  and  the  island  on  which  that  city  is  situated."  This 
agreement  was  kept  secret,  but  when  the  definite  treaty  was 
signed  at  Paris  the  following  year,'  this  secret  pact  went  into 
effect,  and  Spain  at  once  became  the  possessor  of  the  area 
described. 

.^t  the  close  of  the  Revolutionai-y  War,  the  territory  east  of 
the  Mis.sissippi  and  north  of  the  31st  pai'allel  passed  under  the 
jurisdiction  of  the  I'nitcd  States.  By  the  dclinitr  ti-caty  oF 
peace  between  the  United  States  and  Great  Britain,  ratified  at 
Paris,  September  3.  17H3.  a  part  of  the  northern  boundary  of 
the  United  States,  and  the  westei'u  boundary  thereof  was  estab- 
lished as  follows:  Commencing  at  the  most  northwestern  point 
of  the  Lake  of  the  Woods,  and  from  thence  on  a  due  course  west 
to  the  Mississippi  river  (the  Mississippi  at  that  time  was  thought 
to  extend  into  what  is  now  Canada),  thence  by  a  line  to  be 
drawn  along  the   mi<ldle   of  .said   ^Vfississijipi   rivi'r  until   it    shall 


58  HISTORY  OF  KEXVILLE  COUNTY 

intersect  the  northernmost  part  of  the  31st  degree  of  north  lati- 
tude.    (U.  S.  Statutes  at  Large,  Vol.  8,  page  82.) 

In  1800,  by  the  secret  treaty  of  San  (or  Saint)  Ildefonso 
(signed  October  li.  Spain  receded  the  indefinite  tract  west  of 
the  Mississippi  to  France,  which  nation  did  not,  however,  take 
formal  possession  until  three  years  later,  when  the  formality  was 
made  necessary  in  order  that  the  tract  might  be  ceded  to  the 
United  States.  Napoleon,  for  France,  sold  the  tract  to  the  United 
States,  April  30,  1803.  The  region  comprehended  in  the  "Loui- 
siana Purchase,'"  as  this  area  was  called,  included  all  the  countiy 
west  of  the  ^Mississippi,  except  those  portions  west  of  the  Rocky 
mountains  actually  occupied  by  Spain,  and  extended  as  far  north 
as  the  British  territory. 

By  an  act  of  congress,  approved  October  31.  1803,  the  presi- 
dent of  the  Ignited  States  was  authorized  to  take  possession  of 
this  territory,  the  act  providing  that  "all  the  military,  civil,  and 
judicial  powers  exercised  by  the  officers  of  the  existing  govern- 
ment, shall  be  vested  in  such  person  and  persons,  and  shall  be 
exercised  in  such  manner  as  the  President  of  the  t'nited  States 
shall  direct."  (United  States  Statutes  at  Large,  Vol.  2,  page 
245.) 

December  20.  1803.  Loui.siana  was  formally  turned  over  to 
the  United  States  at  New  Orleans,  by  il.  Lanssat.  the  civil  agent 
of  France,  who  a  few  days  previous  (November  30)  had  received 
a  formal  transfer  from  representatives  of  Spain,  Renville  coun- 
ty was  included  in  the  Louisiana  purchase. 

It  will  therefore  be  seen  that  the  territorial  claim  of  title 
to  Renville  county  was  first  embraced  in  the  paper  grant  to 
Spain,  May  4.  1493,  It  was  subsequently  included  in  the  indefi- 
nite claims  made  by  Spain  to  lands  north  and  northwest  of  her 
settlements  in  Mexico,  Florida  and  the  West  Indies;  by  the 
English  to  lands  west  of  their  Atlantic  coast  settlements,  and 
by  the  French  to  lands  south,  west  and  southwest  of  their  Cana- 
dian settlements.  The  first  definite  claim  to  territory  now  em- 
bracing Renville  county  was  made  by  La  Salle  at  the  mouth  of 
the  Mississippi,  March  8,  1682,  in  the  name  of  the  king  of 
France,  and  the  second  (still  more  definite)  by  Perrot,  nor  far 
from  the  present  site  of  "Winona,  May  8,  1689.  This  was  also  a 
French  claim,  France  remained  in  tacit  authority  until  Febru- 
ary 10,  1763.  when,  upon  England's  acknowledging  the  French 
authority  to  lands  west  of  the  Mississippi,  France,  by  a  previous 
secret  agreement,  turned  her  authority  over  to  Spain.  Octo- 
ber 1,  1800,  Spain  ceded  the  tract  to  France,  but  France  did  not 
take  formal  possession  until  November  30,  1803,  and  almost  im- 
mediately, December  20,  1803,  turned  it  over  to  the  United  States, 
the  Americans  having  purchased  it  from  Napoleon  April  30  of 
that  year. 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  59 

March  26,  1804,  tlie  area  that  is  uow  Renville  couuty  -was 
included  in  the  Louisiana  district  as  a  part  of  Indiana,  and  so 
remained  until  Mareli  3,  1805.  From  March  3,  1805,  to  June  4, 
1812,  it  was  a  part  of  Louisiana  territory.  From  June  4,  1812, 
until  August  10,  1820,  it  was  a  part  of  Missouri  territory.  From 
August  10,  1821,  until  June  28,  1834,  it  was  outside  the  pale  of 
all  organized  government,  except  that  congress  had  general  juris- 
diction. From  June  28,  1834,  to  Api'il  20,  1836,  it  was  a  part  of 
Michigan  territory.  From  April  20,  1836,  to  June  12,  1838,  it 
was  a  part  of  Wisconsin  territory.  From  June  12,  1838,  to  De- 
cember 28,  1846,  it  was  a  part  of  the  territory  of  Iowa.  The 
admission  of  Iowa  as  a  state  left  what  is  now  Renville  county 
without  territorial  alifiliation  until  March  3,  1849,  when  Minne- 
sota was  admitted  as  a  territory.  In  the  meantime,  however,  im- 
portant events  were  transpiring. 

December  18,  1846,  IMorgan  L.  IMartin,  delegate  for  Wiscon- 
sin territory  gave  notice  to  the  house  of  representatives  that  at 
an  early  day  he  would  ask  leave  to  introduce  a  bill  establishing  a 
territorial  government  of  Minnesota.  The  name  which  was  the 
Sioux  term  for  what  was  then  the  river  St.  Peter  (Pierre)  and 
has  now  beconu'  the  official  designation  was,  it  is  believed,  ap- 
plied to  the  proposed  territory  at  the  suggestion  of  Joseph  R. 
Brown.  It  is  a  composite  word  and  while  there  is  some  differ- 
ence of  opinion  as  to  the  exact  meaning,  the  most  generally 
accepted  is  "sky  tinted  water,"  which  is  a  very  satisfactory  and 
poetical  even  if  not  accurate  interpretation.  The  real  meaning 
is  blear  water  or  cloudy  water  or  milky  water,  the  river  at  cer- 
tain stages  in  the  early  days  having  the  appearance  of  what 
we  now  call  a  "mackerel  sky."  The  bill  was  introduced  in  the 
lower  house  on  December  23,  1846,  by  Mr.  Martin.  This  bill  was 
left  to  the  committee  on  territories  of  which  Stephen  A.  Doug- 
las of  Illinois  was  the  chairman.  During  its  consideration  by 
congress,  the  hill  underwent  various  changes.  After  reported 
back  to  the  house  the  name  Minnesota  had  been  changed  by 
Mr.  Douglas  to  Itasca :  a  word  formed  by  taking  syllables  from 
the  Latin  words  Veritas  caput,  meaning  the  true  head.  ]Mr. 
Martin  immediately  moved  that  the  name  Minnesota  be  placed  in 
the  bill  in  place  of  Itasca.  Congressman  Winthrop  proposed  the 
name  Chippewa,  another  from  the  word  0.jibway,  a  tribe  of 
Indians  then  inhabiting  the  northern  part  of  Wisconsin  and 
Minnesota.  -Congressman  Thompson  of  Mississippi,  was  opposed 
to  all  Indian  names  and  wished  the  new  territory  named  for 
Andrew  Jackson.  Congressman  Houston  of  Delaware,  spoke 
strongly  in  favor  of  giving  to  the  new  territory  the  name  of 
Washington.  Of  these  proposed  names  only  one,  Washington, 
has  been  preserved  as  the  name  of  state  or  territory.  After 
many  months,  counter  motions  and  amendments.  Minnesota  was 


60  HISTOHV  OF  KKXVILLE  COUNTY 

retained  in  the  bill  wiiieli  with  a  minor  change  passed  the  hovise. 
In  the  senate  it  was  rejected. 

A  second  attempt  was  made  two  years  later.  January  10, 
1848,  Stephen  A.  Donglas,  who  having  in  the  meantime  been 
elected  to  the  United  States  Senate  from  Illinois,  became  chair- 
man of  the  committee  on  territories  in  that  body  as  he  had  previ- 
ously been  in  the  Hon.se,  gave  due  notice  to  the  senate  that  "at  a 
future  day"  he  would  introduce  a  bill  to  establish  the  territory 
of  ^Minnesota.  He  brought  in  the  bill  February  23.  It  was  sev- 
eral times  read,  was  amended,  referred  to  committee  and  dis- 
cussed, but  congi'ess  adjourned  August  14  without  taking  ulti- 
mate action  on  the  proposition. 

In  the  meantime  Wisconsin  was  admitted  to  the  Union  May 
29,  1848,  and  the  western  half  of  what  was  then  St.  Croix  county 
was  left  outside  the  new  state.  The  settled  portions  of  the  area 
thus  cut  olf  from  Wisconsin  by  its  admission  to  statehood  privi- 
leges were  in  the  southern  part  of  the  peninsula  of  land  lying 
between  the  Mississippi  and  the- St.  Croix. 

The  people  of  this  area  were  now  confronted  with  a  serious 
problem.  As  residents  of  the  territory  of  Wisconsin  they  had 
enjoyed  the  privileges  of  citizenship  in  the  United  States.  By 
the  creation  of  the  state  of  Wisconsin  they  were  disfranchised 
and  left  without  the  benefits  of  organized  government.  Thus, 
Stillwater,  which  had  been  the  governmental  seat  of  a  growing 
county  (St.  Croix\  was  left  outside  tlie  pale  of  organized  law. 
Legal  minds  disagreed  on  the  question  of  whether  the  minor 
civil  officers,  such  as  justices  of  the  peace,  created  under  the 
territorial  organization,  were  still  qualified  to  exercise  the  au- 
thority of  their  positions.  At  a  meeting  held  at  St.  Paul,  in 
-July.  1848,  the  citizens  of  that  (then)  village  considered  the 
question  of  the  formation  of  a  new  territory.  August  5  a  meet- 
ing of  citizens  of  the  area  Avest  of  the  St.  Croix  was  held  at 
Stillwater,  and  it  was  decided  to  call  a  general  convention  at  that 
place,  August  26,  1848,  for  a  three-fold  purpose:  1 — To  elect 
a  territorial  delegate  to  congress.  2 — To  organize  a  territory 
with  a  name  other  than  Wisconsin.  3 — To  determine  whether 
the  laws  and  organization  of  the  old  territory  of  Wisconsin  were 
still  in  effect  now  that  a  part  of  that  territory  was  organized  as 
a  state.  In  the  call  for  this  meeting,  the  signers  called  them- 
selves, "We,  the  undersigned  citizens  of  Minnesota  territory."' 
The  meeting  was  held  pursuant  to  the  call.  Action  was  taken  in 
regard  to  the  fir.st  proposition  by  the  election  of  II.  H.  Sibley, 
who  was  authorized  to  proceed  to  Washington  and  use  such  ef- 
forts as  were  in  his  power  to  secure  the  organization  of  the  ter- 
ritory of  Minnesota.  In  regard  to  the  second  proposition,  a 
memorial  was  addressed  to  the  President  of  the  United  States, 
stating  the  reasons  why  the  organization  of  Minnesota  territory 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLK  ((HXTY  61 

was  uecessary.  Tin-  third  proposition  presented  technical  points 
worthy  of  the  attention  of  the  wisest  legal  minds.  The  state  of 
Wisconsin  had  been  organized,  but  the  territory  of  Wisconsin 
had  not  been  abolished.  Was  not,  therefore,  the  territory  still 
in  existence,  and  did  not  its  organization  and  its  laws  still  prevail 
in  the  part  of  the  territory  that  had  not  been  included  in  the 
state?  A  letter  from  James  Buchanan,  then  secretary  of  state 
of  the  United  States,  expressed  this  view  in  a  letter.  If  the  terri- 
torial government  was  in  existence  would  it  not  give  the  resi- 
dents thereof  a  better  standing  before  the  nation  in  their  de- 
sire to  become  Minnesota  territory?  Might  not  this  technicality 
give  the  delegate  a  seat  in  congress  when  otherwise  he  must, 
as  simply  the  representative  of  an  unorganized  area,  make  his 
requests  in  the  lobby  and  to  the  individual  members?  John 
Catlin,  who  had  been  secretary  of  the  territory  of  W^isconsin 
before  the  organization  of  that  state,  declared  that  the  territory 
still  existed  in  the  area  not  included  in  the  organized  state  and 
that  he  was  the  acting  governor,  Territorial  Governor  Henry 
Dodge,  having  been  elected  United  States  Senator.  According- 
ly, the  people  of  the  cut-off  portion  organized  as  the  "Territory 
of  Wisconsin,"  and  named  a  day  for  the  election  of  a  delegate, 
John  H.  Tweedy,  the  territorial  delegate  from  Wisconsin,  having 
gone  through  the  form  of  resigning  in  order  to  make  the  new 
move  possible.  In  the  closely  contested  election  held  October 
30,  1848,  Sibley  won  out  against  Henry  M.  Rice  and  accordingly 
made  his  way  to  W^ashington,  technically  from  the  "Territory  of 
Wisconsin,"  actually  as  a  representative  of  the  proposed  terri- 
torj'  of  Minnesota.  As  a  matter  of  fact,  indeed,  Sibley,  living 
at  Mendota,  had  ceased  to  be  a  citizen  of  the  territory  of  Wis- 
consin in  18:58,  when  Iowa  territory  was  created,  and  was  a 
resident  of  tlir  part  of  Iowa  territory  which  the  organization  of 
the  state  of  Iowa  liad  left  without  a  goveriiinent,  rather  than  of 
that  territory  in  question  (between  the  ]\Iississi[)pi  and  the  St. 
Croix)  which  tli(>  admission  of  Wisconsin  as  a  state  had  left  with- 
out a  govei-iuiient.  Sibley  was,  however,  after  mTich  opposition, 
admitted  to  congress  and  given  a  seat  .lanuary  15,  1849,  but  not 
without  much  discussion  as"  to  whether  excluded  territory  was 
entitled  to  contiiuied  political  existence  and  representation,  after 
a  state  has  been  created  out  of  part  of  a  territory. 

Mr.  Sibley  devoted  himself  assiduousl.y  to  securing  the  passage 
in  the  United  States  senate  of  the  bill  for  the  creation  of  the  ter- 
ritory of  ^linnesota  which  had  been  introduced  at  the  previous 
session  and  met  witli  gratifying  success.  His  efforts  in  the  house 
of  representatives  were  less  satisfactory,  political  questions  enter- 
ing largely  into  the  matter,  and  it  was  not  until  March  3,  1849, 
the  very  last  day  of  the  session — and  tlnii  only  through  the 
strenuous    worl<    of    Senator    Stejihcn    A.    Douglas,    that    he    sue- 


62  lllSTUKY  OF  KE.WJLi.E  (OlMY 

eeeded  iu  seeuriug  the  passage  of  the  bill.  This  was  tiiially  doue 
under  suspension  of  the  rules,  the  previous  opposition  having 
been  unexpectedly  withdrawn. 

As  passed  the  act  read  as  follows:  "Be  it  enacted.  *  *  * 
That  from  and  after  the  passage  of  this  act,  all  that  part  of  the 
territory  of  the  United  States  which  lies  within  the  following 
limits,  to-wit :  Beginning  in  the  Mississippi  river  at  a  point 
where  the  line  of  43°  and  30'  of  north  latitude  crosses  the  same, ' 
thence  runniug  due  west  on  said  liiu:',  wliieh  is  the  northern 
boundary  of  the  state  of  Iowa,  to  the  northwest  corner  of  the 
said  state  of  Iowa ;  thence  southerly  along  the  western  boundary 
of  said  state  to  the  point  where  said  boundary  strikes  the  Mis- 
souri river;  thence  up  tlie  middle  of  the  main  channel  of  the 
Missouri  river  to  the  mouth  of  the  "White  Earth  river:  thenee 
up  the  middle  of  the  main  channel  of  the  White  Earth  river  to 
the  boundary  line  between  the  possessions  of  the  United  States 
and  Great  Britain ;  thence  east  and  south  of  east  along  the  boun- 
dary line  and  between  the  possession  of  the  United  States  and 
Great  Britain  to  Lake  Superior:  thence  in  a  straight  line  to  the 
northernmost  point  of  the  state  of  Wisconsin,  in  Lake  Superior; 
thenee  along  the  western  bcnmdary  of  the  state  of  Wisconsin  to 
the  Mississippi  river ;  thence  down  the  main  channel  of  said 
river  to  the  place  of  beginning,  and  the  same  is  hereby  erected 
into  a  temporary  government  by  the  name  of  the  territory  of 
Minnesota." 

This  being  before  the  days  of  railroads  and  telegraphs  in  the 
West,  the  good  news  did  not  reach  St.  Paul  until  thirty-seven 
days  afterwards,  when  it  was  bronght  by  the  first  steamer  com- 
ing from  the  lower  river. 

At  the  time  of  the  organization  of  Minnesota  as  a  territory 
the  country  was  described  as  being  "little  more  than  a  wilder- 
ness." Tliat  which  lay  west  of  the  Mississippi  river,  from  the 
Iowa  line  to  Lake  Itasca,  had  not  yet  been  ceded  by  the  Indians 
and  was  unoccupied  by  the  whites  save  in  a  very  few  instances. 
On  the  east  side,  in  this  more  immediate  vicinity,  were  trading 
posts  with  the  cabins  of  a  few  employes  at  Sauk  Rapids  and 
Crow  Wing.  Away  up  at  Pembina  was  the  largest  town  or 
settlement  wuthin  the  boundaries  of  the  new  territory,  where 
were  nearly  a  thousand  people,  a  large  majority  of  whom 
were  "Metis"  or  mixed  bloods,  French  Crees  or  French 
Chippewas. 

In  "Minnesota  in  Three  Centuries"  attention  is  called  to  the 
fact  that  at  this  time  the  east  side  of  the  Mississippi,  as  far 
north  as  Crow  Wing,  Avas  being  settled  here  and  there  by  people 
who  had  come  to  the  countrj'  when  it  had  been  announced  that 
the  territory  was  organized.  The  settlers  were  almost  entirely 
from  the  Northern  States,  many  being  from  New  England.     The 


HISTORY  OP  KENVILLE  COrXTV  63 

fact  that  the  state  -wliicli  would  succeed  the  territory  would  be 
a  free  state,  witJiout  slavery  iu  any  form,  made  it  certain  that 
the  first  settlers  would  be  non-slaveholders,  with  but  few  people 
from  the  Soutliern  States  interested  or  in  sympathy  with  South- 
ern ideas. 

The  people  of  the  territory  of  Minnesota  were  not  long  con- 
tent with  a  territorial  government.  In  the  words  of  A.  N. 
Winehell,  "December  24,  1856,  the  delegate  from  the  territory 
of  Minnesota  introduced  a  bill  to  authorize  the  people  of  that 
teri'itory  to  form  a  constitution  and  state  government.  The 
bill  limited  the  proposed  state  on  the  west  by  the  Red  River  of 
the  North  and  the  Big  Sioux  river.  It  was  referred  to  the  com- 
mittee on  territories,  of  which  I\Ir.  C4row,  of  Pennsylvania,  was 
then  chairman.  January  31,  1857,  the  chairman  reported  a  sub- 
stitute, which  differed  from  the  original  l>ill  in  no  essential  re- 
spect except  in  regard  to  tlie  western  boundary.  The  change 
there  consisted  in  adopting  a  line  through  Traverse  and  Big 
Stone  lakes,  due  south  from  the  latter  to  the  Iowa  line.  The 
altered  boundary  cut  off  a  nari'ow  strip  of  territory,  estimated 
bj'  Mr.  Grow  to  contain  between  five  and  six  hundred  square 
miles.  Today  the  strip  contains  such  towns  as  Sioux  Falls, 
Watortown  and  Brookings.  The  substitute  had  a  stormy  voyage 
through  congress,  especially  in  the  senate,  but  finally  completed 
the  trip  on  February  25,  1857." 

The  enabling  act,  as  passed  and  approved  February  26,  1857, 
defined  the  boundaries  of  Minnesota  as  follows:  '"Be  it  enacted 
*  *  *  That  the  inhabitants  of  that  portion  of  the  territory  of 
Mimiesota  which  is  embraced  within  the  following  limits,  to-wit: 
Beginning  at  the  point  iu  the  center  of  the  main  channel  of  the 
Red  River  of  the  North,  where  the  boundary  line  between  the 
United  States  and  the  British  possessions  crosses  the  same; 
thence  up  the  main  channel  of  said  river  to  that  of  Bois  des 
Sioux  river ;  thence  (up)  the  main  channel  of  said  river  to  Lake 
Travers;  then  up  the  center  of  said  lake  to  the  soiitliern  extrem- 
ity thereof;  thence  in  a  direct  line  to  the  head  of  Big  Stone  lake; 
thence  through  its  center  to  its  outlet ;  thence  by  a  due  south  line 
ern  boundary  of  said  state  to  the  main  channel  of  the  Mississippi 
to  the  north  line  of  the  state  of  Iowa;  thence  east  along  the  north- 
river;  thence  up  the  main  channel  of  said  river  and  following 
the  boundary  line  of  the  state  of  Wisconsin,  until  the  same  inter- 
sects the  St.  Louis  river;  thence  down  said  river  to  and  through 
Lake  Superior,  on  the  boundary  line  of  Wisconsin  and  Michi- 
gan, until  it  intersects  the  dividing  line  between  the  United 
States  and  the  British  possessions ;  thence  up  Pigeon  river  and 
following  said  dividing  line  to  the  place  of  beginning;  be  and 
tlu'  same  are  thereby  authorized  to  form  for  themselves  a  consti- 
tution and  state  government,  bj-  the  name  of  the  state  of  Min- 


64  HISTOKV  OF  KEWILLE  CUL'XTV 

nesota,  aud  to  come  into  tin-  I'liioii  on  an  equal  tooting  witii  tlie 
original  states,  according  to  the  federal  constitution. "" 

These  boundaries  were  accepted  without  change  aud  are  the 
boundaries  of  the  state  at  the  present  time.  The  state  was  ad- 
mitted May  11,  1858. 


CHAPTER  V. 
EXPLORATIONS  AND  SURVEYS. 

Grosseilliers  and  Radisson — Hennepin  and  Duluth — Le  Sueur — 
Carver — Long,  Keating  and  Beltrami — Pembina  Refugees — 
Catlin — Nicollet  and  Fremont — Allen — The  Missionaries — • 
The  Fur  Traders — Chronology — Surveys. 

The  French  explorers  fi'om  the  settlements  in  Canada  and 
about  the  Great  Lakes  gradually  began  to  penetrate  toward  Min- 
nesota. At  various  times  traders,  atlventurers  and  priests  disap- 
peared from  these  settlements.  What  deaths  they  met  or  what 
experiences  they  underwent  will  never  l)e  known.  What  places 
they  visited  in  the  wilderness  of  the  upper  Mississippi  is  lost  to 
human  knowletlge.  With  the  seventeenth  century,  however, 
the  area  that  is  now  Minnesota  began  to  be  known  to  the  civil- 
ized world.  But  it  was  not  until  the  closing  months  of  that 
century  that  any  recorded  exploration  was  made  of  the  ilin- 
nesota  river. 

To  understand  Pierre  Charles  Le  Sueur's  trip  ufi  a  jiortiun  of 
that  river  in  the  fall  of  1700  it  is  necessary  that  a  few  of  the  earlier 
Mississipjii  river  explorers  should  be  considered. 

Grosseiliers  and  Radisson.  The  meager  accounts  which  these 
two  explorers  have  left  of  their  two  expeditions  which  are 
supposed  to  have  penetrated  into  ]\Iinnesota,  are  callable  of  more 
than  one  interpretation.  Dr.  Warren  Upham  believes  that  Gros- 
seilliers and  Radisson,  the  first  known  white  explorers  of  ]Minne- 
sota,  entered  it  near  the  southeast  corner,  and  proceeded  up  the 
Mississippi  through  Lake  Pepin  to  Prairie  Island,  just  above 
Ked  Wing.  Here  the  French  explorers  and  the  Indians  that  ac- 
companied them,  together  with  otlier  Indians,  spent  the  year 
1655-1656.  Thus  when  Cromwell  ruled  Great  Britain  and  Ire- 
land, when  the  Puritan  theocracy  was  at  the  height  of  its  glory 
in  New  England,  and  when  the  great  emigration  of  Cavaliers 
was  still  going  on  to  Virginia,  Minnesota  saw  its  first  white  man 
— unless  indeed  the  Scandinavians  visited  this  region  centuries 
before,  as  the  Kensington  Stone  avers. 

About  New  Years,  1660,  if  we  may  trust  Radisson  "s  narra- 
tion and  its  interpretation,  our  ""two  Frenchmen'"  are  again  in 


HISTORY  OF  KENVILLE  COUNTY  65 

^liiinesota.  Traveling;  with  a  big  band  of  Indians,  tlicy  passed 
a  severe  January  and  February,  with  attendant  famine,  prob- 
ably (according  to  Prof.  Winehell)  at  Knife  lake,  Kanabec  coun- 
ty. According  to  Hon.  J.  Y.  Brower  (in  his  monograph 
■'Kathio, "  1901)  the  lake  was  called  Kuife  lake  and  the  Dakota 
tribe  of  this  region  the  Knife  tribe  (Issanti)  because  early  that 
spring  deputations  of  Dakotas  came  to  the  encampment  and 
here  for  tlie  tirst  time  ])rocured  steel  knives  from  the  white  men 
and  from  the  Indian  band  that  was  Avith  them.  Until  this  time 
the  Stone  Age  had  ruled  supreme  in  the  realm  of  Renville,  but 
now  we  may  well  suppose  that  within  a  short  time  many  an  enter- 
prising brave  cherished  as  his  most  precious  possession  one  of 
these  nuigie  knives  that  cut  like  a  stroke  of  lightning.  Yery  soon 
after  meeting  tliese  Dakotas  at  Knife  lake,  Grosseilliers  and 
Radisson  went  to  the  great  Dakota  village  at  Mille  Lacs,  and 
were  there  received  with  every  mark  of  friendship  and  respect. 

Now  follows  the  story  of  a  seven  days'  trip  to  the  prairie 
home  of  the  "nation  of  the  Boefe"  (buffalo),  that  is  to  say,  the 
Dakotas  living  farther  west  and  south.  This  story  seems  likely 
to  be  fiction,  but  if  it  is  true,  there  is  a  fair  chance  that  it  was 
to  the  region  between  the  Big  Bend  of  the  Mississippi  river  and 
the  prairie  region  of  the  Minnesota  valley.  This  was  possibly 
the  nearest  and  most  accessible  buffalo  country  from  Mille  Lacs. 
So  it  is  possible  that  these  two  Frenchmen  were  the  first  white 
men  to  approach  Renville  county.  But  the  supposition  favored 
bj-  AYinchell  is  that  they  went  due  south.  However  that  may  be, 
it  is  certain  that  with  Grosseilliers  and  Radisson  the  first  glim- 
mer of  Europr;ni  civilizalion  reached  Renville  coinit.y. 

Hennepin  and  Du  Luth.  Robert  Cavelier,  better  known  in 
history  as  the  Sieur  de  la  Salle,  who  had  Iniilt  a  fort  near  Lake 
Peoria,  Illinois,  decided  in  February,  1680,  to  send  from  there  an 
expedition  up  the  Mississippi.  For  this  task  he  selected  three  of 
Ms  associates.  Accordingly,  on  February  29,  1680,  Father  Hen- 
nepin, with  two  companions,  Picard  dn  Gay  (Anthony  Auguelle) 
and  Michael  Accaidt  (also  rendered  d'Accault,  Ako,  d'Ako  and 
Dacan),  the  latter  of  whom  was  in  military  command  of  the 
party,  set  out  in  a  canoe.  They  paddled  down  the  Illinois  to 
its  mouth,  where  they  were  detained  by  floating  ice  in  the  Mis- 
sissippi until  March  12.  On  the  afternoon  of  April  11,  Avhile 
on  their  way  up  the  ^lississippi,  they  were  met  by  a  band  of 
Sioux  on  the  warpath  against  the  Illinois  and  Miami  nation. 
Being  informed,  however,  that  the  Miamis  had  crossed  the  river 
and  were  beyond  their  reach,  the  Indians  turned  northward, 
taking  the  Frenchmen  with  them  as  captives.  The  journey  up 
the  river  occupied  nineteen  days. 

At  the  end  of  the  nineteen  days,  the  party  landed  near  the 
present  site  of  St.  Paul,  and  then  continued  by  land  five  daj'S 


66  lllSToKV   OF  KE.WILLE  COUNTY 

^mtil  they  reached  the  Mille  Lacs  region.  There  Aqiiipaguetiu, 
the  chief  who  had  previously  been  unfriendly  to  a  certain  extent, 
adopted  Hennepin  in  place  of  the  son  lir  had  lost.  The  other  two 
Frenchmen  were  adopted  by  other  families.  After  several  months 
in  the  Mille  Lacs  region,  Hennepin  and  Pickard  were  given  per- 
mission in  July,  1680,  to  go  down  the  Mississippi  to  the  mouth  of 
the  Wisconsin,  wliere  they  exjjected  that  Tja  Salle  would  send 
them  supplies. 

On  their  southward  journey,  accompanied  by  a  Sioux  chief, 
Ouasicoude  (Wacoota)  and  a  band  of  Indians,  the  Frenchmen 
descended  the  Rum  river,  and  camped  on  au  eminence  opposite 
what  is  now  the  city  of  Anoka.  Accault  was  left  as  a  hostage. 
Continuing  doAvn  the  river  with  tlie  Indians,  Hennepin  and 
Pickard  cauii-  to  St.  Anthony  Fails,  which  Hennepin  named  in 
honor  of  his  patron  saint.  On  July  11,  1680,  while  hiniting  for 
the  mouth  of  the  Wisconsin  river,  the  party  was  overtaken  by 
Hennepin's  savage  adopted  father.  Aqiiipagtietin,  witli  ten  war- 
riors. The  two  Frenchmen  and  tin-  Indians  then  spent  some  tiuie 
in  the  vicinity  of  Winona,  hiding  their  meat  near  the  mouth  of 
the  Chippewa,  and  then  hunting  on  the  prairies  further  down 
the  river,  the  old  men  of  tlic  ti'lhe  watching  on  the  I'ivei-  bluffs 
for  enemies  while  the  warriors  killed   buffaloes. 

July  2;"),  1680,  the  ])arty  encountered  Daniel  Graysolon.  I)u 
Luth  and  five  Frencli  soldiers.  There  is  sonu^  doubt  about  the 
exact  spot  where  tliis  meeting  took  place,  but  it  was  probably 
near  the  southeast  coi'uer  of  ^Minnesota,  or  possibly  a  littlr  further 
south.  After  the  meeting,  the  eight  Avhiti-  men,  accoiiipiiiiird  liy 
the  Indians,  went  up  the  river.  Du  Ijutli  had  been  exi)loring  the 
country  of  the  Sioux  and  the  Assiniboines.  west  of  Lake  Superior, 
for  two  years,  and  liad  sccuriMl  the  friendshiii  of  these  very 
Indians  who  had  ca])tured  Hennepin.  Conseiiueiitly.  when  he 
learned  wluit  had  lia]>peiied  since  he  last  saw  them,  he  relinked 
them  for  theii'  treatment  of  the  priest,  saying  tliat  Hennepin  was 
his  brothel-.  The  party  reached  the  Issanti  villages  (tlie  ^lille 
Lacs  region)  August  14,  1680.  No  mention  is  made  of  the  route 
which  they  took. 

Toward  the  end  of  September  the  Fi'enclimen  left  the  Indians 
to  return  to  the  French  settlements.  A  chart  of  the  route  was 
given  them  l)y  r)uasieou<le,  the  great  chief.  The  eight  Frenehmen 
then  set  out.  Hennei)in  gives  the  number  as  eight,  though  it 
would  seem  that  the  niunber  was  nine,  foi'  Hennepin  and  Pickard 
had  met  Du  lattli  with  five  soldiei's,  and  when  reaching  the  Issanti 
villages  they  must  have  been  rejoined  by  Accault,  though  pos- 
sibly the  last  named  stayed  witli  the  Indians  and  pui'sued  his 
explorations.  Tlu'  jiarty  passed  down  the  Rum  rivei-  in  the  fall 
of  1680,  and  started  the  descent  of  the  ilississippi.  After  reach- 
ing tlie  Wisconsin  they  went  up  that  river  to  the  portage,  thence 


IIISTOHV  OK   KHXVILLE  CorXTV  67 

up  the  Fox  river,  thence  to  Green  Bay,  ami  theiiee  to  the  settle- 
ments in  Canada. 

Aceaiilt,  one  of  Hennepin  s  eoiupanioiis,  had  been  left  with 
tlir  Indians  near  the  present  site  of  Anoka,  when  Hennepin  and 
Ai'jiuille  took  the  memorable  down-the-river  trip  on  whicli  they 
met  Du  Lnth.  Aecanlt  took  many  journeys  with  the  Indians, 
even  visiting  the  Itasca  region,  and  it  is  not  improbable  that  he 
may  have  been  taken  to  the  region  which  lies  north  of  the  npper 
Minnesota  river  and  southwest  of  the  Big  livwd  of  the  Missis- 
sippi river. 

Le  Sueur.  From  1681  to  1699,  Nicholas  Perrot  made  nnmei'- 
ous  trips  to  the  country  of  the  upper  Mi.ssissippi  river.  Several 
of  his  posts  were  located  in  the  vicinity  of  the  lower  end  of  Lake 
Pepin,  which  is  an  enlargement  of  tlie  Mississippi  river  extending 
generally  speaking  from  a  short  distance  above  Winona  to  a 
short  distance  below  Red  Wing.  One  of  these  expeditions  was 
probably  that  of  Charville  and  Pierre  Charles  Le  Sueur,  taken 
up  the  Mississippi  above  the  Falls  of  St.  Anthony,  about  1690. 
They  probably  went  as  far  as  the  outlet  of  Sandy  Jjake. 

Le  Sueur  wrote  an  account  of  this  trip  to  refute  certain  ficti- 
tious narrations  by  Mathieu  Sagean.  Of  this,  in  his  excellent  and 
monumental  work,  '"IMinnesota  in  Three  Centuries,"  in  Vol.  I, 
pp.  253-4,  Dr.  Warren  Upham  says:  "Brower  and  Hill  come  to 
the  conclusion  that  on  the  Mississippi  at  the  outlet  of  sandy  lake, 
a  village  of  Sioux  doubtless  then  existed,  as  it  has  also  been  dur- 
ing the  last  centui->'  or  longci-  the  site  of  an  Ojibway  village.  The 
estimates  noted,  that  the  distance  traveled  above  the  Falls  of 
St.  Anthony  was  about  a  hundred  French  leagues,  and  that  an 
equal  distance  of  the  river's  course  still  separated  the  voyageui-s 
from  its  sources,  agree  very  closely  with  the  accurate  measure- 
ments now  made  by  exact  surveys,  if  Le  Sueur's  journey  ended 
at  Sandy  lake. 

"Very  probably  ('harleville,  whose  narration  of  a  similar  early 
expedition  of  a  hundred  leagues  on  the  part  of  the  Mississij)pi 
above  these  falls  is  preserved  by  Du  Pratz  in  his  'History  of 
Louisiana,'  was  a  companion  of  Le  Sueur,  so  that  the  two  accounts 
relate  to  the  same  canoe  trip.  Charleville  said  that  he  was  accom- 
panied by  two  Canadian  Frenchmen  and  two  Indians;  and  it  is 
remarkable  that  Charleville,  like  Le  Sueur,  was  a  relative  of  the 
brothers  Iberville  and  Bienville,  who  afterwards  were  governors 
of  Louisiana."  As  in  Le  Sueur's  description  of  the  sources  of 
the  great  river,  Charleville  also  states  that  the  Indians  spoke  of 
the  Mississippi  as  having  many  sources. 

In  the  spring  of  1695  Le  Sueur  and  his  followers  erected  a 
trading  post  or  fort  on  Isle  Pelee,  now  Prairie  Island,  just  above 
Red  Wing.     Early  in  the  suunner  of  1695  he  returned  to  ^loii- 


68  IIISTOKY  OF  KEXVILLE  COUNTY 

treal  with  some  Indians,  among  whom  was  a  Sioux  chief  named 
Tioscate.  the  latter  being  the  first  Sioux  chief  to  visit  Canada. 
Tioseate  died  while  in  Montreal. 

In  his  journej-s  to  the  Northwest,  Le  Snem-  received  reports 
from  the  Indians  which  led  him  to  believe  that  copper  was  to  be 
found  near  the  place  where  the  ^Minnesota  river  turns  from  its 
southwest  to  its  northeast  course.  Therefore  he  received  a  com- 
mission to  examine  this  mine  and  obtain  from  it  some  ores.  In 
April,  1700,  he  set  out  with  a  i>arty  of  men  from  the  lower  Mis- 
sissippi settlements  in  a  sailing  and  rowing  vessel  and  two  canoes. 
September  19  he  reached  the  mouth  of  the  ^Minnesota,  and  on  the 
last  day  of  the  month,  having  reached  the  mouth  of  the  Blue 
Earth  river  near  the  present  site  of  the  city  of  Mankato,  he 
ascended  that  river  about  a  league,  and  erected  a  fort  wliicli  he 
named  Fort  L'Huillier,  named  for  a  prominent  officer  in  the 
service  of  the  King  of  France.  A  short  distance  from  the  fort 
they  located  their  "mine."  They  spent  tlie  ensuing  winter  at 
this  fort,  and  in  the  spring  of  1701  Le  Sueiu-  started  down  the 
river  with  a  part  of  liis  followers  and  with  a  load  of  green  earth 
which  he  believed  to  be  copjier.  In  due  time  he  reached  the 
Gulf  of  ^lexico.  The  party  whom  he  had  left  at  the  garrison  on 
the  Bhif  Earth  followed  him  down  the  river  at  a  later  date.  The 
fact  that  seven  French  traders  who  had  been  stripped  naked  by 
the  Sioux  took  refuge  in  Le  Sueur's  fort  on  the  Blue  Earth,  and 
the  fm'ther  fact  that  those  Avhom  he  left  at  the  fort,  encountered 
while  going  down  the  Mississippi  a  party  of  thirty-six  Frenchmen 
from  Canada  at  tlie  mouth  of  the  Wisconsin,  shows  that  aside 
from  the  explorers  recorded  in  history,  various  Frenchmen,  now 
luiknoAvn,  penetrated  the  ui)per  Mississii3j)i  region  from  time  to 
time  even  at  that  eai-ly  day. 

The  data  secured  by  Le  Sueur  were  used  in  the  preparation 
of  a  map  of  the  Nortlnvest  country  by  William  De  L'isle,  royal 
geographer  of  France,  in  1703.  Several  of  the  larger  and  more 
important  physical  features  of  southwestern  Minnesota  were 
more  or  less  accurately  located.  The  Minnesota  river  appeared 
upon  this  nmp,  being  labeled  E.  St.  Pierre,  or  Mini-Sota.  Its 
course  is  somewhat  accurately  drawn.  The  Des  Moines  river 
also  has  a  place  on  the  map,  being  marked  Des  Moines,  or  le 
Moingona  R.,  and  its  source  was  definitely  located.  There  is  noth- 
ing in  the  writings  of  Le  Sueur,  however,  to  lead  to  the  belief 
that  lie  extended  his  exploration  much  farther  up  the  Minnesota 
river  than  the  mouth  of  the  Blue  Earth. 

Lahontan.  Early  historians  have  endeavored  to  identify  the 
"Long  Kiver"'  of  Lahontan  with  the  Minnesota  river  of  the 
present  day.  In  case  this  identification  were  correct  then  a 
Frenchman  sighted  the  fair  area  of  Renville  county  only  three 
years  after  Hennepin  made  his  memorable  voyage  up  the  Missis- 


IIISTOHV  OK  HKWILLK  CorxTV  69 

sippi.    Modern  liistoriiuis,  liowcvcr,  entirely  diseredit  tin-  w  ritings 
of  this  adventure)-. 

Baron  de  Laliontiiu  is  now  regarded  as  tiic  iiai-dii  .\1  unrliausen 
of  America.  Ilis  explorations  and  journeys  to  the  upper  ili.ssis- 
sippi  region  \vere  prohably  entirely  fictitious  and  ■•Lcui-.'  Ixiver" 
merely  a  creation   of  liis  own  imagination. 

Lahontan  was  born  in  France  in  16()6,  and  as  a  soldier  of  the 
French  enii)ire  canu'  to  America  in  1683  as  a  boy  of  seventeen 
years.  The  next  ten  years  he  spent  in  various  i)arts  of  Canada, 
and  there  doul)tless  heard  the  stories  U|ii)u  which  he  based  his 
pretended  journeys.  In  109:]  he  deserted  his  post  of  duty  in  New 
Foundland  and  thereafter  until  his  death,  probably  in  1715,  he 
spent  his  life  as  an  exile,  liomeless  and  friendless,  in  Holland, 
Denmark,  Spain,  the  (leiiuan  jirovirfces  and  England. 

In  170;!  at  The  Jla<jiie  in  Xetherlamls,  Lahontan  liad  narra- 
tives of  his  jircti'iided  travels  published  in  tlii'ee  volunies.  wi'itten 
in  his  native  l-'reneli  language.  Later  in  the  same  yvnv  a  revised 
edition  of  the  work,  entitled  "New  Voyages  to  North  America," 
was  issued  in  London.  At  present  tliere  are  several  otlur  English 
and  French  editions.  A  translation  was  made  into  (iermau  in 
1711  and  into  the!  language  of  Holland  in  1739.  In  this  publica- 
ti(Hi  Lahontan  jjretended  to  have  ascended  the  Mississippi  river 
and  to  have  discovered  a  tributary  caUed  "jjong  River"  flowing 
into  tins  river  from  the  west.  ITe  gives  in  detail  his  many  adven- 
turi's  on  tins  "Long  River."  liid'ore  he  was  disci-edited  historians 
had  many  ai-gunuMits  as  to  whether-  Lahontan  ascended  the  Root 
i-i\iT  or  the  Miiniesota  river,  but  we  now  know  that  lie  was  never 
within  many  linndi-cd   miles  of  either. 

Carver.  During  the  next  sixty-six  years  after  Le  Sueur  vis- 
ited the  ^Minnesota  ii\-ei-  country  no  white  man  was  in  South- 
western Minnesota,  so  far  as  we  know.  Then,  in  November,  1766, 
Jonathan  Carver  ascended  the  ^linnesota.  <'arver  was  a  Con- 
necticut Yankee  anil  exploii'd  the  upper  .Mississippi  in  the  inter- 
ests of  the  British  gov<'iiimeiit. 

Of  his  trip  to  this  point  Carver  wrote:  "On  the  twenty-fifth 
of  November,  17(i(),  [  returned  to  my  caiioe,  wliieh  1  had  left  at 
the  mouth  of  the  River  St.  I'ieii-e  i  Minnesota),  and  here  1  parted 
with  regret  from  my  yoniig  friend,  the  prince  of  the  Winne- 
bagoes.  The  river  being  clear  of  ice  by  reason  of  its  southern 
situation,  I  fount!  nothing  to  obstruct  my  passage.  On  the  twenty- 
eighth,  being  advanced  about  forty  miles,  I  ai-rived  at  a  small 
branch  that  fell  into  it  from  the  north,  to  whicii.  as  it  had  no 
naiiii'  that  1  could  distinguish  it  by,  I  gave  my  own.  and  the 
readei-  will  find  it  in  the  plan  <d'  my  travels  denomiiiiited  ('arver's 
i-iver.  About  forty  miles  higher  up  I  came  to  the  f<u-ks  of  the 
Verd  (Blue  Eartli)  and  Red  Marble  (Watonwan  i  rivei-s.  wliieh 
join  at  some  little  distance  before  they  cuter  the  St.  I'icrre. 


70  lIlSToliV   OF  KE.WILLE  COUNTY 

■"Tlic  Kiver  St.  Pierre  at  its  junction  with  the  Mississippi  is 
about  a  lunidred  yards  broad  and  continues  that  breadth  neai'ly 
all  the  way  I  sailed  upoi]  it.  It  lias  a  great  depth  of  water  and 
in  some  places  runs  very  swiftly.  About  fifteen  miles  from  its 
mouth  are  some  rapids  and  much  higher  up  are  many  others. 

■■I  proceeded  up  this  river  about  200  miles,  to  the  country  of 
the  Nadowessies  (Sioux)  of  the  plains,  which  lies  a  little  above 
the  fork  formed  by  the  Verd  and  Red  Marble  rivers  just  men- 
tioned, where  a  branch  from  the  south  (the  Cottonwood)  nearly 
joins  the  ilessorie  (Missouri)  river.""  (The  sources  of  the  Cot- 
tonwood river  are  near  those  of  Rock  river,  the  latter  being  a 
tributary  of  the  Missouri.) 

On  the  seventh  of  December  he  arrived  at  the  most  westerly 
limit  of  his  travels,  and  as  he  could  proceed  no  further  that 
season,  spent  the  winter,  a  period  of  seven  months,  among  a  band 
of  Nadowessies  (Sioux),  encamped  near  what  is  now  New  Ulm. 
In  his  map  lie  draws  three  tepees  opposite  the  present  city  of 
New  Ulm  on  tlie  north  side  of  tlie  Minnesota  river  and  makes 
the  statement,  "About  here  the  Author  winter "d  in  1766.""  In 
his  hunting  and  exploration  he  ascended  the  Little  Rock  (now 
Mud  creek)  into  Cairo  and  Wellington  town.ships.  He  says  he 
learned  the  Sioux  language  so  as  to  converse  with  tlieiii  intelligi- 
bly, and  was  treated  l)y  them  with  great  hospitality.  In  the 
spring  he  returned  to  the  moutli  of  the  Minnesota. 

His  account  of  this  is  as  follows:  "I  left  the  habitations  of 
tliese  hospitable  Indians  the  latter  end  of  April,  1767,  but  did  not 
part  from  tliem  for  several  days,  as  I  was  accompanied  on  my 
journey  by  near  three  hundred  of  them,  among  whom  were  many 
chiefs,  to  the  mouth  of  the  River  St.  Pierre.  At  this  season  these 
bands  annually  go  to  the  gi-eat  cave  (now  calli'd  ('ai'Vfr"s  cave) 
before  mentioned,  to  hold  a  grand  council  with  all  the  other 
bands,  wherein  they  settle  their  operations  for  the  ensuing  year. 
At  the  same  time  they  carry  witli  them  their  dead  for  iiirermeiit, 
bound  up  in  buffalo  skins.'" 

As  already  stated.  Carver  hunted  witli  the  liulians  over  some 
of  the  great  plains  of  Southwestern  ^Minnesota  wliicli.  "aecoi-d- 
ing  to  their  (the  Indians")  account,  are  unbounded  and  probably 
tei'iuinate  on  the  coast  of  the  Pacific  ocean." 

From  information  received  from  the  Indians  Carver  made 
some  wonderful  deductions  as  to  the  physical  features  of  the 
country.  In  his  narrative  of  the  trip  he  wrote :  "By  the  accounts 
I  received  from  the  Indians  I  have  reason  to  believe  that  the 
River  St.  Pierre  (^linnesota)  and  the  ilessorie  (Missouri ).  though 
they  enter  the  >\lississiiipi  twelve  hundred  miles  from  each  other, 
take  their  rise  in  the  same  neighborhood,  and  this  within  the 
space  of  a  mile.  The  River  St.  Pierre "s  northern  branch  (that  is, 
the  main  river)  rises  from  a  number  of  lakes   (Big  Stone  lake) 


TTTSTOl.'V  OF  HEXVTLLE  rOTXTV  71 

near  the  Sliiiiiug  iiiomitaiiis  (the  Coteau  des  Prairies),  and  it  is 
from  some  of  these  also  tliat  a  capital  branch  (Red  River  of  the 
North)  of  the  River  Bourbon  (Nelson  river),  which  iiiiis  into 
Hudson's  bay,  has  its  sources.  *  •  «  j  ],;,y^,  learned  that  the 
four  most  capital  rivers  of  North  America,  viz.,  the  St.  Lawrence, 
the  ;Mississippi,  the  River  Bourbon  (Nelson)  and  the  Oregon 
(Cohunbia),  or  River  of  the  "West,  have  their  sources  in  the 
same  neighborhood.  The  waters  of  the  three  former  are  within 
thirty  miles  of  each  other;  the  latter,  however,  is  rather  farther 
west. 

"This  shows  that  these  parts  are  the  highest  lands  of  North 
America;  and  it  is  an  instance  not  to  be  paralleled  on  the  other 
three-quarters  of  the  globe,  that  four  i-ivers  of  such  magnitude 
should  take  their  rise  together  and  each,  after  running  separate 
courses,  discharge  their  waters  into  different  oceans  at  the  dis- 
tance of  2,000  miles  from  their  source.'' 

Of  the  country  through  which  he  traveled  Carver  wrote : 
"The  River  St.  Pierre,  which  runs  through  the  territory  of  the 
Nadowessies,  flows  through  a  most  delightful  country,  abound- 
ing with  all  the  necessaries  of  life  that  grow  si)ontaneously,  and 
with  a  little  cultivation  it  might  be  made  to  produce  even  the 
luxuries  of  life.  Wild  rice  grows  here  in  great  abundance ;  and 
every  part  is  filled  with  trees  bending  under  their  loads  of  fruit, 
such  as  plums,  grapes  and  apples;  the  meadows  are  covered  with 
hops  and  many  sorts  of  vegetables;  whilst  the  ground  is  stored 
with  useful  roots,  with  angelica,  spikenard  and  ground  nuts  as 
large  as  hens'  eggs.  At  a  little  distance  from  the  sides  of  the 
river  are  eminences  from  which  you  have  views  that  cannot  be 
exceeded  by  even  the  most  beautiful  of  those  I  have  alreadj' 
described.  Amidst  these  are  delightful  groves  and  such  amazing 
quantities  of  maples  that  tlu'v  would  ])roduce  sugar  sufficient  for 
any  luiniber  of  iidiabitants. '' 

Ft.  SneUing-  Established.  With  tiie  establishment  of  Ft.  Suell- 
ing,  the  area  of  Renville  county  became  more  widely  known,  as 
the  soldiers,  traders  and  visitors  there  made  many  trips  up  the 
river  past  the  county. 

February  10,  1819,  tlie  Fifth  Regiment  United  States  Infantry 
was  ordered  to  concenti-ate  at  Detroit  preparatory  to  a  trip  which 
was  to  result  in  the  maintaining  of  a  post  at  the  mouth  of  the 
St.  Peter's  (now  Minnesota)  river.  After  establishing  various 
garrisons  at  different  places,  the  troops  started  up  the  river 
from  Prairie  du  Chien,  Sunday,  August  8,  1819.  The  troops  num- 
bered ninety-eight,  rank  and  file.  They  were  accompanied  by 
twenty  hired  boatmen.  There  were  fourteen  keel  boats  foi'  the 
troops,  two  large  boats  for  stores,  and  a  barge  for  Lieut. -Col. 
Harry  Leavenworth,  the  commander,  and  I\Iaj.  Thomas  Forsyth, 
the  Indian   agent.     This  expedition   established   at   ]\lendota   the 


72  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

military  post  now  moved  across  the  river  and  uow  known  as 
Ft.  Suelling. 

May  10,  1823,  tlie  "Virginia,"'  the  first  steamboat  to  navigate 
the  upper  Mississippi,  arrived  at  Ft.  Snelling,  and  thns  wliat  is 
now  Renville  county  was  placed  in  still  closer  communication  with 
the  outside  world.  On  board,  among  others,  Avere  J\Iaj.  Lawrence 
Taliaferro  and  James  T'onstance  Beltrami,  the  Italian  explorer. 

Long,  Keating,  Beltrami.  I'ndoubtedly  white  men.  engaged 
in  trade  witli  the  natives  or  trapping  antl  lumting  for  the  fur 
companies  or  for  themselves,  visited  that  part  of  south-central 
Minnesota  which  is  now  designated  Renville  county  in  the  early 
part  of  the  nineteentli  century.  But  sucli  men  left  few  records  of 
their  operations,  and  our  infornmtion  concerning  the  exploration 
of  the  country  is  obtained  almost  wholly  from  expeditious  sent 
out  by  the  government. 

An  early  visitor  to  south-central  Minnesota  was  Major  Stephen 
H.  Long.  Long  did  not  traverse  Renville  county,  for  near  the 
present  site  of  New  Ulm  tlie  party  crossed  tlie  ^linuesota  river 
and  followed  its  southern  shore. 

In  accordance  with  orders  from  the  War  Department,  an  expe- 
dition under  tlie  comnuind  of  Major  Long,  with  a  corps  of  scien- 
tists for  observations  of  tlie  geographic  features,  geology,  zoology 
and  botany  of  the  Northwest,  traversed  the  area  of  ^Minnesota  in 
1823,  passing  from  Ft.  Snelling  up  tlie  ^Minnesota  valley,  down 
the  valley  of  the  Red  river  to  Lake  Winnipeg,  thence  up  the 
Winnipeg  river  to  the  Lake  of  the  Woods,  and  thence  eastM'ard 
along  the  international  boundary  and  partly  in  Canada  to  Lake 
Superior.  Prof,  W^illiam  11.  Keating,  of  the  University  of  Penn- 
sylvania, was  the  geologist  and  historian  of  this  expedition.  One 
of  its  members  or  its  guest  in  the  travel  from  the  fort  to  Pembina 
was  Costantino  Beltrami,  a  political  exile  from  Italy,  Ind.  becom- 
ing offended,  he  left  the  expedition  at  Pembina  and  returned  to 
the  fort  by  the  way  of  Red  lake  and  the  most  northern  sources 
of  the  Mississippi,  traveling  alone  or  with  Indian  companions. 

The  boat  party  entered  the  mouth  of  the  Minnesota  river,  tlien 
called  the  St.  Peter,  late  in  the  night  of  July  2,  and  a  stay  of  a 
week  M-as  made  there,  for  rest  and  to  visit  the  Falls  of  St, 
Anthony. 

Provided  by  Colonel  Snelling  ;it  the  fort  with  a  in'W  and  more 
efficient  escort  of  twenty-one  soldiers,  with  Joseph  Renville  as 
their  Dakota  interpreter,  and  with  Joseph  Snelling,  a  son  of  the 
colonel,  as  assistant  guide  and  interpreter,  the  expedition  set 
forward  on  July  9  uj)  tlie  Minnesota  valley,  A  part  traveled  on 
horseback,  including  Say  and  Colhoun,  M'hile  the  others,  includ- 
ing Long,  Keating,  Seymour  and  Renville  went  in  four  canoes, 
which  also  carried  the  bulk  of  their  stores  and  provisions.  It 
was  planned  that  the  land  and  river  parties  "should,  as  far  as 


IIISTOKY  OF  RF.XVITJ.K  COTA'TV  73 

practicable,  keep  company  togetlirr.  mihI  iMii-aiii|i  every  iiieht,  il 
possible,  at  the  same  place." 

Oil  .Inly  i:i  they  reached  the  vicinity  of  Traverse  iles  Sioiix 
(St.  Peter),  and  encamped  at  a  beautiful  bend  ol'  the  river,  ealled 
the  Crescent.  Here  the  expedition  left  the  canoes,  reilueed  ihe 
escort,  and  on  .Iidy  1.")  moved  Avestward  by  the  route  of  Swan 
lake.  They  now  nundx-red  in  total  twenty-four  men.  with  twenty- 
one  horses.  The  most  southern  part  of  th(>  course  of  the  .Minne- 
sota havin-;  been  cut  off  by  the  journey  past  Swan  laki',  this 
stream  was  again  reached  and  crossed  a  short  distance  below  the 
month  of  the  Cottonwood  river.  Thence  the  ex])edition  passed 
along  the  southweslern  side  of  tlie  valley,  and  across  the  eoii- 
tiguous  upland  prairies,  to  Lac  (pii  Parle  and  Big  Stone  lake.  The 
latter  lake  was  reached  on  -Tuly  22,  and  the  Columbia  Fur  Com- 
pany's trading  ])ost,  at  the  southern  end  of  Lake  Traverse,  the 
next  day.  Joseph  Snelling  returned  to  Ft.  Snelling  from  Pem- 
bina by  way  of  the  Ked  and  :\linnesota  rivers,  thus  passing  Ren- 
ville county. 

Professor  Keating  mentions  the  Redwood  river  and  states  that 
the  red  pipcstone  was  said  to  exist  on  its  banks  three  days' 
journej^  from  its  mouth.  IMentieii  is  made  of  Patterson  s  I'apids, 
the  Grand  portage,  the  Pejehata  Zeze  Watapan  (Yellow  IMedi- 
cine)  river,  Beaver  i-ivulct  (Lac  qui  Parle  rivei'i  and  other 
physical  features.  Interesting  observations  were  recorded 
respecting  the  fauna  and  flora  of  tin'  |irairii's. 

The  Pembina  Refugees.  The  memlieis  of  the  I'embina  (rolony 
in  the  Red  ri\er  valley  -wi're  among  the  pi'ople  who  passed  Ren- 
ville comity  during  the  era  of  exphu'alion.  In  the  early  winter 
of  1820  the  I'embina  colony  sent  a  ilelegatimi  to  i'laiiie  dn  Chien 
for  seed  wheat,  which  could  not  be  found  nearer  home.  The  men 
set  out  ini  snow  shoes  and  reaehecl  their  dest  inatiim  in  three 
months.  The  route  was  by  the  way  of  the  Ked  river  to  Lake 
Traverse,  then  down  the  :\rinnesota,  past  i-'oi't  Sie-lling,  and 
thence  down  the  Mississippi.  At  Prairie  du  Chicn  2.')0  bushels  of 
wheat  was  ptirchascd  at  ten  shillings  (i|f2, .')()!  i)er  bushel.  It  was 
loaded  into  flat  boats,  which  were,  with  mni'li  hard  labor,  pro- 
pelled up  the  Mississippi  to  the  St.  P.-ter.  tlnnee  up  that  river 
to  the  portage  near  Lake  Traverse.  The  boats  and  cargo  were 
then  trans])oi'tcd  acro.ss  to  the  Red  river  and  tloated  down  that 
stream  to  Pembina. 

In  1827  a  number  of  Swiss  families  left  the  K'ed  river  colony 
to  make  new  homes  for  themselves  within  the  I'nited  States. 
They  were  accompanied  by  several  families  of  French  Cana- 
dians Avho  had  become  "Selkirkcrs,"  that  is,  mcnd)ers  of  the 
Selkirk  colony.  The  refugees  came  down  the  valley  on  the  Red 
river — or  nj)  that  stream — to  Lake  Traverse,  and  thence  down 
the  ;Miunesota    (or  St.  Peter's)   to  Fort  Snelling.     .\lexis  P>ailly 


74  1IIST()1;V  OF  RENVILLE  CorXTY 

and  others  wlui  had  visitfil  thr  eolimists  in  their  Ki-d  i-ivcr  honu's 
had  infoniK'd  them  of  the  sii|)(M-iority  of  the  AUjincsota  country 
over  tlie  Assiniboine  region,  and  assured  them  that  they  would 
be  lieartily  weleoine  if  they  removed  to  the  big,  free,  hospitable 
and  favored  company  of  the  Stars  and  Stripes. 

Colonel  Snelling  gave  the  refugees  a  kindly  reception  and 
allowed  them  to  settle  on  the  military  reservation,  west  of  the 
Mississippi  and  north  of  the  fort.  The  colonists  at  once  set  to 
work  and  built  houses,  opened  farms,  engaged  in  work  at  the 
fort,  and  were  soon  comfortable,  contented  and  hopeful.  All  of 
the  refugees  spoke  French.  The  French  Swiss  and  the  French 
Canadians  seemed  like  kinsmen  and  dwelt  together  like  brethren 
in  unity.  It  is  of  record  that  among  these  people  were  Abraham 
Perry,  a  watchmaker,  and  Louis  Massie,  both  Switzers,  but  the 
names  of  the  other  heads  of  families  have  not  been  i)reserved. 

July  25,  1831,  twenty  more  Red  river  colonists  arrived  at 
Fort  Snelling.  Up  to  the  year  1836  nearly  500  mort>  had  come, 
and  by  the  year  1840  nearly  200  more,  while  from  time  to  time, 
for  many  years,  frost-bitten  and  famine-stricken  fugitives  from 
the  Red  river  country  fouiul  rest  for  their  feet,  food  for  their 
bodies  and  comfort  genei'ally  in  ^Minnesota.  Hut  only  al)()ut  one- 
half  of  these  people  remained  here  permanently.  The  others 
Avent  further  south — to  Praii-ie  du  Chien,  to  Illinois,  to  ^Missouri, 
and  some  families  join-neyed  to  Vevay,  Indiana,  the  site  of  a  Swiss 
settlement. 

Nearly  all  of  tiie  early  residents  of  St.  Paul  were  Red  river 
refugees  and  their  children.  Many  of  the  descendants  of  good 
old  Abraham  Perry  were  born  in  Jliiuiesota  and  are  yet  citizens 
of  the  state. 

Featherstonhaugh  and  Mather.  Another  exploration  of 
southwestern  ^Minnesota  was  made  in  the  siunmer  of  1S35  Ijy 
G.  W.  Featherstoidiaugh.  an  English  gentleman.  He  bore  the 
title  of  United  States  geologist  antl  was  commissioned  by  Colonel 
J.  J.  Al)ert,  of  the  Bureau  of  Topographical  Engineers.  Feather- 
stonhaugh  proceeded  up  the  Minnesota  river  to  lakes  Big  Stone 
and  Traverse,  and  to  the  high  sources  of  the  ilinnesota  on  the 
Coteau  des  Prairies  west  of  these  lakes.  Featherstonhaugh  was 
accom])anied  by  William  Williams  Mather. 

From  Featherstonhaugh  "s  exiiedition  resulted  two  works,  one 
entitled  "Report  of  geological  reconnoisance  made  in  1835  from 
the  seat  of  government  by  the  way  of  Green  Bay  and  the  Wis- 
consin Territory  to  the  Coteau  des  Prairies,  an  elevated  ridge 
dividing  the  Missouri  from  the  St.  Peter's  (Minnesota)  river," 
printed  by  the  order  of  the  Senate  in  1836,  and  the  other  "A 
Canoe  Voyage  \ip  the  ]\Iinnay  Sotar, ""  published  in  London  in 
1847. 


TirSTORY  OF  HKXVIl-LK  CorXTY  75 

Catlin.  It  was  in  1837  that  Gt'oi'<rf  ('atlin.  tlic  famous  traveler 
and  Indian  delineator,  passed  near  this  county  on  his  way  to  visit 
the  Pipestone  quarries. 

He  organized  the  expedition  at  the  Palls  oi'  St.  Anthony  and 
was  accompanied  only  by  Robert  Serril  Wood,  "a  young  gentle- 
man from  England  of  fine  taste  and  idueation,"  and  an  Indian 
guide.  0-kup-kee  by  name. 

This  little  party  traveled  horsebaek  and  followed  tiic  usnal 
route  up  the  Minnesota.  At  Traverse  des  Sioux,  near  the  pi'csent 
site  of  St.  Peter,  Mr.  Catlin  and  his  companion  halted  at  the 
cabin  of  a  trader,  where  they  were  threatened  by  a  band  of 
savages  and  warned  not  to  i)ersist  in  their  determination  to  visit 
the  quarries.  They  continued  on  their  way,  however,  crossed  to 
the  north  side  of  the  river  at  Traverse  des  Sioux,  proceeded  in  a 
westerly  direction,  and  crossed  the  Minnesota  to  the  south  t)ank 
near  the  mouth  of  the  Waraju  (Cottonwood),  close  to  the  present 
city  of  New  Ulni. 

There  Messrs.  Catlin  and  Wood  left  the  river  and  journeye<l 
"a  little  north  of  west"  for  the  Coteau  des  Prairies.  They  trav- 
eled through  the  present  counties  of  Brown,  Redwood  and  Lyon 
and  passed  several  Indian  villages,  at  several  of  which  they  were 
notified  that  they  must  go  back;  but,  undaunted,  they  continued 
their  journey.  Catlin  states  in  one  place  that  he  traveled  one 
hundred  miles  or  more  from  the  mouth  of  the  Cottonwood,  and 
in  another  place  "for  a  distance  of  one  hundred  and  twenty  or 
thirty  iniles"  before  reaching  the  base  of  the  coteau,  when  he 
was  still  "forty  or  fifty  miles  from  the  Pipestone  quarries."  He 
declared  this  pai-t  of  the  journey  was  ovei-  one  of  the  most  beau- 
tiful prairie  countries  in  the  world. 

Most  of  Catlin 's  distances  were  overestimated.  The  distance 
from  the  mouth  of  the  Cottonwood  to  the  base  of  the  coteau 
where  he  came  upon  it  is  only  about  seventy-two  miles  in  a  direct 
line :  then  he  was  about  thirty-six  miles  from  the  quarries. 

Nicollet  and  Fremont.  From  1836  to  1843.  mo.st  of  the  time 
assisted  by  .lohn  C.  Fremont,  afterward  candidate  for  the  presi- 
dency of  the  United  States  on  the  Republican  ticket,  Joseph 
Nicolas  Nicollet  prosecuted  a  geograi)hical  survey  of  the  upper 
Mississippi  country.  He  explored  nearly  all  portions  of  Minne- 
sota and  many  other  parts  of  the  country  theretofore  unvisited. 
His  operations  in  south-central  Minnesota  were  quite  extensive. 
In  1838  Nicollet  and  Fremont  made  a  trip  to  the  vicinity  of  what 
is  now  Renville  county.  In  the  party  were  six  men,  the  others 
being  Charles  A.  Geyer,  the  botanist  of  the  expedition;  J.  Eugene 
Flandin  and  James  Renville. 

Nicollet  and  Fremont  traveled  from  Washington  to  St.  Louis 
and  thence  up  the  Mississippi  river  to  H.  II.  Sibley's  trading  post, 
near  the  mouth  of  the  ^Minnesota  river.     Thence  they  journeyed 


76  HIS'I'OKV  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

over  the  <^t'iicral  route  of  travel  ui)  the  east  siile  of  tin-  Minne- 
sota river,  erossing:  at  Traverse  des  Sioux.  They  jiioecciled  west 
across  the  ■"ox-bow,"  stopping  at  Big  Swan  lake  in  Nieollet 
county,  and  crossed  the  ^Minnesota  again  at  the  month  of  the 
Cottonwood.  They  i)roceeded  uii  tlie  valley  of  the  Cottonwood, 
on  the  north  side  of  the  river,  to  a  i)oint  near  tiie  present  site  of 
Lambei-ton,  and  then  crossed  to  the  south  side  of  the  river  and 
struck  across  country  to  the  Pipestone  quarries. 

On  Nicollet's  map.  issued  in  1843.  his  route  to  tiie  quarries 
is  indicated  by  a  fine  dotted  line.  This  map  at  the  time  it  was 
issued  was  the  most  complete  and  correct  one  of  the  upper  ]\Iis- 
sissippi  country.  It  covered  all  of  ^Minnesota  and  Iowa,  about 
one-half  of  Jlissouri,  and  much  of  the  Dakotas.  AVisconsin  and 
Illinois.  The  author  gave  names  to  many  streams  and  lakes 
and  gave  the  first  rejiresentation  of  thi>  striking  topographical 
features  of  the  western  and  northern  parts  of  ^linuesota.  He 
located,  by  astronouucal  observations,  the  numerous  streams  and 
lakes  and  the  main  geographical  features  of  the  state,  tilling  in 
by  eye-sketciiing  and  by  itacing  the  intermediate  ob.jects.  On  his 
map  the  country  along  the  [Minnesota  river  is  labeled  Warpeton 
counti'X'  and  that  furtJier  south  Sisseton  coiuiti'y. 

After  spending  three  da\s  at  the  Pipestone  (puiri'ii-s.  where 
is  now  situated  the  city  of  Piju'stone.  the  Nicollet  party  visited 
and  named  Lake  Benton  (for  ^Ir.  Fremont's  father-in-law.  Sena- 
tor Benton)  and  then  proceiMJed  westwai-d  into  Dakota,  visiting 
and  naming  Lakes  Preston  (for  Senator  Pi'eston),  Poinsett  (for 
J,  R.  Poinsett,  secretary  of  wai'),  Albert,  Tliompson,  Tetonkoha, 
Kampeska  and  Hendri<d\s.  P>efore  returinng  to  civilization  Nicol- 
let visited  Big  Stone  lake  and  other  places  to  the  north.  lie 
returned  to  the  Falls  of  St.  Aiithon\'  by  way  of  .losi'])h  ]{en- 
ville's  camp  on  the  Lac  qui  Parle. 

Allen.  The  next  recorded  visit  of  white  men  w;is  in  1S4-1. 
when  an  exjtedition  in  charge  of  Ca[itain  .1.  .Mien  eaiin'  up  the 
Des  Moines  river,  operating  ehietly  to  chart  that  and  other 
streams.  He  jjassed  through  daekson,  ( 'ottonwood  ;ind  .Murray 
counties  and  came  to  Lake  Shelek.  which  he  decided  was  the 
source  of  the  Des  Moines  rivei-.  lie  gave  that  bc<ly  of  water  the 
uame  Lake  of  the  Oaks  and  descriljed  it  as  remarkable  for  a 
singular  arrangement  of  the  i)eninsulas  running  into  it  from  all 
sides  and  foi-  a  heavy  growth  of  timber  that  covered  the  penin- 
sulas and  the  bordei's  of  the  lake. 

With  Lake  Shetek  as  temporary  head(iuarters.  Captain  Allen 
extended  his  exjilorations  in  several  directions.  He  proceeded 
due  north  from  the  lake  and  crossed  the  Cottonwood  and  later 
the  Redwood  near  the  present  site  of  ]\IarsiiaH.  When  thirty- 
seven  miles  north  of  Lake  Shetek  he  turned  east  and  crossed  the 
Redwood  again  near  the  site  of  Redwood  Falls.    From  the  mouth 


insTOKY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  77 

of  the  Rt'(hvood  lie  explored  the  south  sliore  of  the  i\Iiniifsota 
river  several  miles  up  and  down  and  returned  to  Lake  Shctek. 
The  expedition  then  set  out  for  the  west  and  went  down  tlu;  Big 
Sioux  river  to  its  month. 

"From  Lizard  creek  of  the  Des  Moines  to  the  source  of  the 
Des  Moines,  and  thence  east  to  the  St.  Peter's  is  a  range  foi-  elk 
and  common  deer,  but  principally  elk,"  -wrote  Captain  Allen. 
"We  saw  a  great  many  of  the  elk  on  our  route  and  killed  many 
of  them :  they  were  sometimes  seen  in  droves  of  hundreds,  but 
were  always  difficult  to  approach  and  very  difficult  to  overtake 
in  chase,  except  with  a  fleet  horse  and  over  good  ground.  No 
dependence  coiild  be  placed  in  this  country  for  the  subsistence 
of  troops  marching  through  it." 

Fur  Traders. — These  explorers,  Le  Sueur,  Carver,  Long,  Keat- 
ing anil  lUltrami,  Featherstonliaugh  and  Mather,  Catlin,  Nicollet 
and  Fremont  and  Allen  were  men  who  gave  their  knowledge  to 
the  world,  and  their  joui-neys  in  the  Minnesota  river  region 
marked  distinct  epochs  in  its  development.  It  should  be  under- 
stood, however,  that  even  before  1700  Avhite  men  were  probably 
passing  Renville  county  with  more  or  less  frequency.  The  fact 
that  several  Frenchmen  took  refuge  in  Le  Sueur's  fort  after  being 
stripped  naked  by  the  Indians  shows  tliat  white  men  visited  this 
region  even  at  that  early  date. 

Lae  qui  Parle,  Big  Stone  lake  and  Lake  Traverse  made  excel- 
lent fur  trading  points,  and  were  probably  locations  of  such  from 
early  in  the  eighteenth  century.  The  furs  from  these  posts  were 
brought  down  the  ^Minnesota  and  past  Renville  county  in  canoes. 

Of  the  several  traders  in  the  Minnesota  valley  toward  the 
close  of  the  eighteenth  century  one  of  the  principal  ones  was 
Murdoch  Cameron,  a  Scotchman. 

As  early  as  1783,  Charles  Patterson  had  a  trading  post  in  Ren- 
ville county.  He  was  located  in  what  is  now  section  29,  township 
114,  range  36  (Flora  township),  at  the  place  long  known  as  Pat- 
terson's rapids.  The  site  of  his  post  is  now  a  popular  picnic 
place. 

Charles  Le  Page,  a  Canadian,  made  a  trip  from  the  Yellowstone 
region  in  1803.  He  reached  the  headwaters  of  the  Minnesota, 
May  15,  and  with  a  band  of  Yanktons  and  Sissetons  went  on  to 
Mendota. 

James  H.  Loekwood,  the  first  white  native  of  the  United  States 
to  trade  with  the  Indians  of  this  locality,  came  up  the  Minnesota 
river  in  1816,  and  maintained  a  trading  post  at  Lac  qui  Parle 
for  a  little  over  two  years. 

After  Ft.  Snelling  was  established,  an  Indian  agency  opened 
where  the  traders  were  requii-ed  to  obtain  licenses  from  the  agent. 
In  1826  the  records  of  the  agent  show  that  Joseph  Renville  was 


78  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

at  Lac  qui  Parle,  aiul  John  Campbell  at  the  mouth  of  tin-  Cliip- 
pewa,  both  of  which  loeatious  were  not  far  from  Renville  eouuty. 
■William  Dickson  and  Hazen  P.  ^Mooers  were  at  Lake  Traverse. 
IMooers  was  especially  successful.  It  is  recorded  that  in  the  sum- 
mer of  1829  "the  di-y  year,"  he  made  a  trip  from  Lake  Traverse 
to  Ft.  Snelling  with  126  packs  of  furs,  valued  at  4^12,000. 

In  1833-^4  Mooers  and  Renville  were  at  the  same  stations  as 
in  1826.  Joseph  R.  Brown,  afterward  a  pioneer  of  Renville 
county,  was  on  the  ^linnesotii  at  the  mouth  of  the  Chippewa. 
Joseph  Renville.  Jr.,  was  at  the  Little  Rock  on  the  Minnesota,  at 
the  mouth  of  the  Jjittle  Rock  (Mud)  creek,  which  flows  for  a 
part  of  its  course  in  what  is  now  Renville  eount>'.  Joseph  La 
Framboise  established  himself  at  the  mouth  of  the  Little  Rock 
in  1834. 

The  Missionaries.  In  1835  Thomas  S.  Williamson  establishe^^ 
a  mission  at  Lac  qui  Parle.  In  coming  up  the  river  as  a  mission- 
ary for  the  American  Board  of  Foreign  Missions,  Williamson  had 
met  Joseph  Renville.  After  surveying  the  situation  carefvilly,  the 
missionary  concluded  to  accompany  Mr.  Renville  to  the  latter  "s 
home  and  stoi-e  at  Lac  qui  Parle  and  establish  a  mission  station 
there.  On  Junr  23  his  i)arty  end^arked  on  the  Fiu"  Company's 
ilackinaw  boat,  which  was  laden  with  traders'  goods  and  sup- 
plies, ami  set  out  on  a  voyage  up  the  Minnesota,  then  at  a  good 
stage  of  water.  The  boat  was  propelled  by  poles,  oars,  a  sail,  and 
by  pulling  the  willows  along  the  abrupt  shores.  Progress  was 
very  slow  and  eight  days  were  required  to  reach  Traverse  des 
Sioux.  From  the  Traverse  the  remainder  of  the  journey  was 
made  in  wagons  and  Lac  qui  Parle  was  reached  July  9 — seven- 
teen days  out  from  Fort  Snelling.  At  Lac  qui  Parle  Dr.  William- 
son and  his  companions  established  themselves  as  religious 
teachers  of  the  Wahpeton  and  Sisseton  Sioux. 

Dr.  Williamson  was  accompanied  by  his  wife  and  child,  Alex- 
ander 6.  Huggins  and  family,  and  Sarah  Poage.  a  sister  of  ilrs. 
Williamson. 

In  1852  another  mission  was  established  a  few  milps  above  thi* 
mouth  of  the  Yellow  Medicine  river.  In  the  summer  of  1854,  a 
new  section,  New  Hope  (Hazelwood)  was  built  two  miles  from 
the  Y^ellow  Medicine  station. 

These  mission  stations  brought  to  the  region  of  Renville 
county  nearly  all  the  early  Protestant  missionaries  of  ilinnesota. 
Some  came  up  the  Minnesota  river,  some  took  the  trail  on  the 
south  side  of  the  river,  and  some  took  the  trail  through  Renville 
county,  which  passed  from  the  mouth  of  the  Little  Rock  (Mud) 
creek  along  the  prairie  just  back  of  the  ravines. 

Chronology.  Following  is  a  summary  of  the  history  of  Jliune- 
sota  during  the  period  of  exploration: 

1635.     Jean  Nicollet,  an  explorer  from  France,  who  had  win- 


HISTORY  OF  KEXN'ILLE  COUNTY  79 

tered  in  tlic  iicijiliborliood  of  (irccii  lia\'.  hroiifrlit  to  IMontft'nl  tlu' 
first  ineutiou  of  tlu-  aborigines  of  ^Minnesota. 

1659-60.  Grosseilliers  and  Radisson  wintered  Minonij;  the  Sioux 
of  the  Jlille  Laos  region,  ^linnesota,  being  its  first  white  exploi'ei'S. 
In  a  previous  expedition,  four  .years  eariiei-.  tiie.v  are  tliouglit  by 
some  to  have  eonie  to  Prairie  island,  west  of  tiie  main  channel  of 
the  ^Mississippi,  between  Red  Wing  and  Hastings. 

Kitil.  Father  Rene  ]\Ienai'd  left  Kcwrnnaw,  on  lialic  Supriior, 
to  visit  the  Hurons.  then  in  northiTn  Wisronsin,  and  was  lost 
near  tlie  sonrees  of  the  Ulaek  and  ('liippcwa  rivers.  His  breviai-y 
and  eassoek  were  said  to  have  hern  found  among  the  Sioux. 

1679.  July  2,  Daniel  Greyselon  Du  Mint  (Duluth)  held  a 
eouiudl  with  the  Sioux  at  their  ju-ineipal  settlement  on  the  shore 
of  :Mille  Laes.  Dn  Lhut,  in  June,  KiMO.  l)y  way  of  the  St.  Croix 
river,  reached  the  Mississippi  and  nu-t  IIenni|iiu. 

1680.  Louis  Hennepin,  after  eai)tivity  in  the  village  of  thr 
ilille  Lacs  Sioux,  first  saw  the  Falls  of  St.  Anthony. 

1689.  ]\ray  8,  Nicolas  Perrot,  at  Ins  Fort  St.  Autoine,  on  the 
Wisconsin  sliore  of  Lake  Pejjiu,  laid  formal  claim  to  the  sur- 
rounding country  for  France.  He  built  a  fort  also  on  the  Minne- 
sota shore  of  this  lake,  near  its  outlet,  as  well  as  other  posts. 

16i)0.  (?)  Le  Sueur  and  ( 'harli'\-illi'  ascciidt-d  the  ^lississippi 
above  St.  Anthony  falls. 

1695.  Le  Sueur  built  a  fort  oi-  trading  post  on  Isle  Pelee,  now 
called  Prairie  islanil,  above  Lake  Prpin. 

1700.  Le  Sueur  established  Fort  L'Huiliier,  on  the  Blue  Earth 
i-ivei'  (near  tlie  mouth  of  the  Le  Sueur),  and  first  supplied  the 
Sioux  with  firearms. 

1727.  The  French  establisheil  a  fort  on  the  present  site  of 
Frontenac  on  Lake  Pepin.  Forts  were  also  erected  on  nearly 
the  same  site  in  1727  and  1750. 

1728.  Great  flood  in  the  Mississippi. 

1763.  By  the  treaty  of  Versailles,  France  ceded  Minnesota, 
east  of  the  ilississippi,  to  England,  and  west  of  it  to  Spain. 

1766.  Captain  .Jonathan  Carver  visited  St.  Anthony  falls  and 
Minnesota  river.  He  claimed  to  have  iiuide  a  treaty  with  the 
Indians  the  following  sr)ring.  in  a  cave,  aftei-waiil  called  ■"Cai-ver's 
Cave,"  within  the  present  limits  of  St.  Paul,  at  which  he  said 
they  cediil  to  him  an  immense  tract  of  land,  long  known  as 
"Carver's  Claim, ""  but  never  recognized  by  government. 

1796.  Laws  of  the  Ordinance  of  1787  extended  over  the 
Northwest  territory,  including  the  northeastern  third  of  IMinne- 
sota,  east  of  the  ^Mississippi  river. 

1798-99.  The  Nortli western  Fur  Company  established  itself 
in  ^Minnesota. 

1800.  May  7,  that  part  of  ^Minnesota  east  of  the  Mississippi 
became  a  {lart  of  Indiana  b.v  the  division  of  Ohio. 


80  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

1803.  Ai^ril  30,  tliat  part  of  Minnesota  west  of  the  ^Mississippi, 
for  the  preceding  forty  years  in  possession  of  Spain  as  a  part  of 
Louisiana,  was  ceded  to  the  United  States  by  Napoleon  Bonaparte, 
wlio  had  just  obtained  it  from  Spain. 

1803-04.  William  Morrison,  the  lirst  known  white  man  to 
discover  the  source  of  the  Mississippi  river,  visited  Elk  lake  and 
explored  the  streams  entering  into  the  lake  forming  the  head  of 
the  river. 

ISO.").  Lieut.  Z.  M.  Pike  visited  Minnesota  to  establish  gov- 
eriiment  relations  tliere,  and  obtained  the  Fort  Snelliug  reserva- 
tion from  the  Uakotas. 

1812.  The  Dakotas,  Ojibways  and  Winnebagoes,  under  the 
lead  of  hostile  traders,  joined  the  British  during  the  war.  Red 
river  colony  established  bj'  Lord  Selkirk. 

1819.  ilinnesota,  east  of  the  Mississippi  river,  became  a  part 
of  Crawford  county,  IMichigan.  Fort  Snelliug  established  and  a 
post  at  ilendota  occupied  l)y  troops,  under  command  of  Colonel 
Leavenworth,  ilaj.  L.  Taliaferi'o  appointed  Indian  agent,  arriv- 
ing April  19. 

1820.  Cornerstone  of  Fort  Snelliug  laid  September  10.  Gov- 
ernor Cass  visited  Minnesota  and  made  a  treaty  of  peace  between 
the  Sioux  and  Ojibways  at  Fort  Snelling.  Col.  Josiah  Snelliug 
appointed  to  the  connnand  of  the  latter  post. 

1823.  The  first  steamboat  arrived  at  Mendota,  May  10.  Major 
Taliaferro  and  Beltrami  being  passengers.  Maj.  Stephen  H.  Long 
explored  3Iiuuesota  river,  the  Red  river  valley,  and  the  northern 
frontier.    Beltrami  explored  sources  of  the  Mississippi. 

1826.  Great  flood  on  the  Red  river;  a  part  of  the  colony 
driven  to  ilinuesota,  settling  near  Fort  Snelliug. 

1832.  Schoolcraft  explored  sources  of  Mississippi  river,  and 
named  Lake  Itasca  (formerly  called  Elk  lake). 

1833.  First  mission  established  at  Leech  lake  by  Kcv.  "\V.  T. 
Boutwell. 

1834.  The  portion  of  Minnesota  west  of  the  31ississi[ipi 
attached  to  Michigan.     Gen.  H.  II.  Sibley  settled  at  Mendota. 

1835.  Catlin  and  Featherstouhaugh  visited  Minnesota. 

1836.  The  territory  of  Wisconsin  organized,  embracing  the 
part  of  iliunesota  east  of  the  Mississippi,  the  part  on  the  west 
being  attached  to  Iowa.    Nicollet  visited  Minnesota. 

1837.  Governor  Dodge,  of  Wisconsin,  made  a  treaty,  at  Fort 
Snelling,  with  the  Ojibways,  by  which  the  latter  ceded  all  their 
pine  lands  on  the  St.  Croix  and  its  tributaries ;  a  treaty  was  also 
effected  at  Washington  with  a  deputation  of  Dakotas  for  their 
lands  east  of  the  Mississippi.  These  treaties  led  the  way  to  the 
first  actual  settlements  within  the  area  of  Minnesota. 


HISTOKY  OF  KEXXILLK  COLWTV  81 

SURVEYS. 

Two  of  the  townsliips  in  wliat  is  now  Reuville  county  were 
survej-ed  as  early  as  1855.  Some  were  not  survpyed  until  1866. 
These  surveys  were  made  as  follows : 

Preston  Lake,  township  115,  range  31,  was  surveyed  by  Thomas 
Simpson,  between  August  17,  1855,  and  August  24,  1855. 

Boone  Lake,  township  116,  range  31,  was  surveyed  by  Thonuis 
Simpson,  between  September  3,  1855,  and  September  10,  1855. 

Kingman,  township  116.  range  34,  M-as  surveyed  by  T.  Barnes 
and  G.  E.  Brent,  between  July  20.  1858,  and  July  25.  1858. 

Camp,  township  112,  range  33,  was  surveyed  by  William  Roek, 
between  September  22,  1858.  and  October  6,  1858. 

Cairo,  township  112,  range  32,  M-as  surveyed  by  Williaiii  Koek, 
between  October  3,  1858,  and  October  9,  1858. 

Wellington,  township  113,  range  32,  was  surveyed  by  T.  Barnes 
and  George  E.  Brent,  between  April  15,  1858,  and  April  20,  1858. 

Birch  Cooley,  township  113,  range  34,  was  surveyed  by  T. 
Barnes  and  G.  E.  Brent.  betAveoi  July  10,  1858,  and  July  14,  1858. 

Birch  Cooley,  township  112,  range  34,  was  surveyed  by  James 
L.  Mowlin,  between  August  9, 1858,  and  August  16,  1858. 

Bandon,  township  113,  range  33,  was  surveyed  by  T.  Barnes 
and  G.  E.  Brent,  between  April  1,  1858,  and  April  27,  1858. 

Beaver  Falls,  township  113,  range  35,  was  surveyed  by  N.  R. 
McMahan,  between  September  15,  1858,  and  September  23,  1858. 

^lartinstuu-g,  township  114,  range  32,  was  surveyed  by  T. 
Barnes  and  G.  E.  Brent,  between  May  2,  1858,  and  May  5,  1858. 

Palmyra,  township  114,  range  33,  was  survej'ed  by  T.  Barnes 
and  G.  E.  Brent,  between  April  28,  1858,  and  April  30,  1858. 

Norfolk,  township  114,  range  34,  was  surveyed  by  G.  E.  Brent 
and  T.  Barnes,  between  July  15,  1858,  and  July  17,  1858. 

Heuryville,  township  114,  range  35,  was  survej'ed  by  N.  R. 
Mc]\Iahan,  between  September  24,  1858,  and  September  30,  1858. 

Flora,  townsliip  114,  range  36,  was  surveyed  by  N.  R. 
McMahan,  between  October  20,  1858,  anil  October  24,  1858. 

Hector,  town.ship  115,  range  32,  was  surveyed  by  T.  Barnes  ami 
G.  E.  Brent,  between  :May  7,  1858,  and  May  10.  1858. 

Melville,  township  115,  range  33.  was  siu-veyed  by  T.  Barnes 
and  G.  E.  Brent,  between  May  22,  1858,  and  May  27,  1858. 

Bird  Island,  township  115,  range  34,  was  surveyed  by  G.  E. 
Brent  and  T.  Barnes,  ])etween  July  18,  1858,  and  July  20,  1858. 

Troy,  township  115,  range  35,  was  surveyed  by  N.  R.  McMahan, 
between  October  12,  1858,  and  October  16,  1858. 

Winfield,  township  116,  range  35,  was  surveyed  by  N.  R. 
McMahan,  between  October  18,  1858,  and  October  20,  1858. 

Osceola,  township  116.  range  33,  was  surveyed  by  G.  E.  Brent 
and  T.  Barnes,  between  :\Iay  17,  1858,  and  IMay  21,  1858. 


82  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

Brookfield,  towiisliip  116,  range  32.  was  survej'ed  by  George 
E.  Brent  and  T.  Barnes,  between  May  11,  1858,  and  May  16,  1858. 

Flora,  township  113,  range  36,  was  surveyed  by  N.  R. 
McMahau,  between  October  1,  1858,  and  October  10,  1858. 

Emmet,  townshij)  115,  range  36,  was  surveyed  by  R.  H.  L. 
Jenett  and  G.  G.  Howe,  between  June  16,  1866.  and  June  23,  1S66. 

Sacred  Heart,  township  114,  range  37,  was  surveyed  by  R.  II. 
L.  Jenett  and  G.  G.  Howe,  between  July  9,  1866,  and  July  16,  1866. 

Sacred  Heart,  township  115.  range  37,  was  surveyed  by  R.  H. 
L.  Jenett  and  G.  G.  Howe,  between  July  2,  1866.  and  July  7,  1866. 

Hawk  Creek,  township  115,  range  38.  was  surveyed  by  Jenett 
and  Howe,  between  November  2,  1866,  and  November  9,  1866. 

Hawk  Creek,  township  114,  i-ange  38,  was  surveyed  by  R.  H. 
L.  Jenett  and  G.  G.  Howe,  between  November  2,  1866,  and  Novem- 
ber 3,  1866. 

Kingman,  township  116,  range  36,  was  surveyed  by  R.  H.  L. 
Jenett  and  G.  G.  Howe,  between  June  26,  1866,  and  June  30,  1866. 

Eriekson,  township  116,  range  37,  was  surveyed  by  R.  H.  L. 
Jenett  and  G.  G.  Howe,  between  July  19,  1866,  and  July  24,  1866. 

Wang,  township  116,  range  38,  was  surveyed  by  Jenett  and 
Howe,  between  Julv  24.  1866.  and  Julv  31.  1866. 


CHAPTER  VL 
JOSEPH  RENVILLE. 

Of  French  and  Indian  Blood — Educated  in  Canada — Starts  Life  as 
a  Courier — In  War  of  1812 — Serves  as  British  Captain — In  the 
Fur  Trade — Brings  First  Seed  Corn  to  Minnesota — Literary 
Work — His  Triumphant  Death. 

Joseph  Renville,  for  whom  Renville  county  was  named,  was 
of  mixed  descent,  and  his  story  forms  a  link  between  the  past  and 
the  present  history  of  Minnesota.  His  father  was  a  French  trader. 
His  mother  was  a  Dakota  (Sioux)  of  Little  Crow's  Kaposia  band, 
M'hich  was  at  various  periods  located  at  different  jioints  between 
the  mouth  of  tlie  Llinnesota  and  the  mouth  of  the  St.  Croix,  much 
of  the  time  at  the  present  .site  of  South  St.  Paul.  She  was  related 
to  some  of  the  principal  men  of  the  Kaposia  village. 

Thus  with  the  daring  blood  of  a  French  adventurer  in  one 
branch  of  his  lineage,  and  the  noble  strain  of  the  Sioux  in  the 
other,  Joseph  Renville  was  born  at  the  Kaposia  village  aliout  the 
year  1779,  while  the  Revolutionary  war  was  still  raging. 

Accustomed  to  see  no  European  countenance  but  that  of  his 
father,  in  sports,  habits  and  feelings,  he  was  a  full  Dakota  youth. 
But  his  father,  noting  the  activity  of  his  mind,  was  not  content 
that  he  should  be  entirely  an  Indian  boy,  and  therefore  before  he 


HISTORY  OF  KEXVILLE  COrXTY  83 

was  ten  years  old  took  him  to  ( 'aiiaci;i.  ami  placiMl  liim  in  IIk;  care 
of  a  learned  and  saintly  Catiiolic  i)riest,  under  whose  fostering 
and  loving  tuition  he  obtained  a  sliglit  knowledge  of  the  French 
language  and  the  elements  of  the  Christian  religion.  But  the 
education  thus  started  was  bi-oken  off,  for  upon  llii-  ih-ath  of  liis 
father  the  boy  returned  to  Minnesota. 

As  the  youngster  attained  a  proper  age,  Col.  Robert  Dixon, 
an  Englishman  in  tlie  employ  of  a  British  fur  company,  who 
traded  with  the  iliiniesota  Indians,  liired  him  as  a  coureur  de 
bois.  While  a  mere  stripling  he  had  guided  his  canoe  from  the 
Falls  of  Pokeguma  to  the  Falls  of  St.  Anthony,  and  followed  the 
ti-ails  fron^  Mendota  to  the  ^Missouri.  He  knew  by  heart  the 
legends  of  his  tribe.  He  ha<l  distinguished  himself  as  a  brave, 
and  as  he  grew  older  identified  himself  with  the  Dakotas  more 
fully  by  follow'ing  in  tli(>  footsteps  of  his  fathei-  and  marrying 
a  maiden  of  that  nation. 

In  1797  he  wintered  in  company  with  a  Mr.  Perlier  near  Sauk 
Kai)i(is.  Zebulon  M.  Pike,  who  was  in  Minnesota  in  1805-06,  was 
introduced  to  him  at  Prairie  du  Chieu,  and  was  conducted  by  him 
to  the  Falls  of  St.  Anthony.  This  officer  was  pleased  with  him, 
and  recommended  him  for  the  post  of  United  States  interpreter. 
In  a  lettei-  to  (leiiei'al  Wilkinson,  written  at  Mendota,  September 
9,  1805,  he  says:  "I  beg  leave  to  recommend  for  that  appoint- 
ment Joseph  Renville,  who  has  served  as  intei'preter  for  the  Sioux 
last  spring  at  the  Illinois,  and  who  has  gratuitously  and  willingly 
served  as  my  interpreter  in  all  my  conferences  with  that  tribe. 
He  is  a  man  respected  by  the  Indians  and  I  believe  an  liouest 
one." 

At  the  breaking  out  of  the  War  of  1812  Colonel  Dickson  was 
employed  by  the  British  to  secure  the  warlike  tribes  of  the  Noi'tli- 
west  as  allies.  Renville  received  from  him  the  appointment  and 
rank  of  captain  in  the  British  army,  and  with  warriors  from  the 
Ke-ox-ah  (Wabasha's  band  at  Winona),  Kajiosia  and  other  bands 
of  Dakotas,  marched  to  the  American  frontier.  In  1813  he  was 
present  at  the  siege  of  Fort  Meigs.  One  afternoon,  while  he  was 
seated  with  Wabasha  and  the  renowned  Petit  Corbeau  (Little 
Crow),  the  grandfathei'  of  the  Little  Ciow  of  the  Sioux  uprising, 
an  Indian  presented  himself  and  told  the  ehiefs  that  they  were 
wanted  by  the  liead  men  of  llir  otlirr  nations  that  were  there  con- 
grcgatril.  When  they  arrived  at  the  rendezvous  they  were  sur- 
prised to  find  that  the  Winnebagoes  had  taken  an  American  cap- 
tive, and,  after  roasting  him,  had  api)ortioned  his  body  in  as  many 
dishes  as  there  were  luitions,  and  had  invited  tlnin  to  ])artici])ate 
in  the  fea.st.  Both  the  ciiiefs  and  Renville  were  indignant  at  this 
inhumanity  and  Colonel  Dickson,  being  informed  of  the  fact; 
the  Winnebago  wlio  was  the  author  of  the  outrage  was  turned  out 
of  the  <'amp. 


84  HISTORY  OF  REXVILLE  COrXTY 

In  Iblo  Reuville  accompanied  the  Kaposia  eliiff  to  Drvmi- 
inoud's  Island,  who  had  been  invited  by  tlie  coinni;md;int  of  that 
post  to  make  him  a  visit.  On  their  arrival  they  were  informed 
by  the  otHeer  that  he  had  sent  for  them  to  thank  them  in  the  name 
of  His  Majesty  for  the  aid  they  had  rendered  during  the  Avar. 
He  concluded  by  jiointing  to  a  large  pile  of  goods,  Avhich.  he  said. 
Avere  presents  from  Great  Britain.  Petit  Corbeau  replied  that 
his  people  had  been  prevailed  upon  by  the  British  to  make  war 
upon  a  people  they  scarcely  knew  and  who  had  never  done  them 
any  harm.  "'Xoav, "'  continued  the  brave  Kaposia  chief,  "after 
we  have  fought  for  you,  under  many  hardships,  lost  some  of  our 
people  and  awakened  the  vengeance  of  our  neighbors,  you  make 
peace  for  yourselves,  and  leave  us  to  get  such  terms  as  we  can ; 
but  no.  we  will  not  take  them.  "\Ve  hold  them  and  yourselves  in 
equal  contempt." 

For  a  short  period  after  the  war  Renville  remained  in  Canada 
and  i-eceived  the  half  ])ay  of  a  British  captain.  He  next  entered 
the  service  of  the  Hudson  Bay  Company,  whose  posts  extended 
to  the  ^lississijiiH  and  ilinnesota  rivers.  In  winter  he  resided 
with  liis  family  among  the  Dakotas:  in  summer  he  visited  his 
trading  posts,  which  extended  as  far  as  the  sources  of  the  Red 
river. 

In  liSl9  Colonel  Snclling  commenced  the  erection  of  the  mas- 
sive stone  fort  near  the  junction  of  the  ilississippi  and  Minnesota. 
From  this  time  Renville  became  more  acquainted  with  the  people 
of  the  Fnited  States,  and  some  of  his  posts  being  within  the  limits 
of  the  Rejiublic,  he  with  several  other  experienced  trajjpers,  estab- 
HsIkmI  a  nrw  romitany  in  1822,  Avhich  they  called  the  Columbia  Fur 
Company.  Of  this  new  organization  he  was  the  presiding  genius. 
When  ]Major  Stephen  li.  Long  arrived  at  Fort  St.  Anthony,  as 
Snelling  was  then  called,  in  the  year  1823.  he  l^ecame  acquainte(l 
with  Renville,  and  engaged  him  as  the  interpreter  of  the  expedi- 
tion to  exjilore  the  Minnesota  river  and  the  Red  River  of  the 
North.  The  historian  of  the  expedition,  Professor  William  II. 
Keating,  gave  to  the  world  one  of  the  most  interesting  accounts 
of  the  Dakota  nation  tliat  had  ever  been  published,  and  he  states 
that  for  most  of  the  information  he  is  indebted  to  Josi-ph  Ren- 
ville, 

Shortly  after  the  Columbia  Fin-  Company  commenced  its  opera- 
tions the  American  Fur  Company  of  New  York,  of  which  John 
Jacob  Astor  was  one  of  the  directors,  not  wishing  any  i-ivals  in 
tlie  trade,  purchased  their  posts  and  good  will,  and  retained  the 
"coureurs  de  bois, "  Under  this  new  arrangement  Renville 
removed  to  Lac  qui  Parle  and  erected  a  trading  house,  and  here 
he  resided  luitil  the  end  of  his  days. 

Living  as  he  had  done  for  more  than  a  half  century  among 
the  Ilakotas.  owv  whom  he  exercised   the  most  unbounded  con- 


HISTORY  OF  REWILLE  ('()T-\TY  85 

trol,  it  is  not  surprising  that  in  his  advanced  age  he  sometimes 
exhibited  a  domineering  disposition.  As  long  as  Minnesota  exists 
lie  shonld  he  known  as  one  given  to  hos|)itality.  lie  invariably 
showed  himself  to  be  a  friend  to  the  Indian,  the  traveler  and  the 
missionary.  Aware  of  the  improvidence  of  his  mother's  race,  he 
used  his  inttnence  towards  the  raising  of  grain.  He  was  instru- 
mental in  having  the  first  seed  corn  planted  on  the  Upper  Minne- 
sota. An  Indian  never  left  his  house  hungry,  and  they  delighted 
to  do  him  honor.  He  was  a  friend  to  the  traveler.  His  conver- 
sation was  intelligent,  and  he  constantly  communicated  facts  that 
Avere  worthy  of  record.  His  post  obtained  a  reputation  among 
explorers,  and  their  last  day's  journey  to  it  was  generally  a  (luick 
march,  for  they  felt  sure  of  a  warm  welcome.  His  son  was  the 
interi)r«'1cr  of  Joseph  N.  Nicollet,  that  worthy  man  of  science  who 
explored  this  counti'y  in  connection  with  Jolm  (".  Fremont.  This 
gentleman  in  his  report  to  Congress  pays  the  fullowiuir  trilnite 
to  the  father  and  son  : 

"I  may  stop  a  while  to  say  tlial  the  residence  of  the  Renville 
family,  for  a  number  of  years  back,  has  afforded  the  only  I'ctreat 
to  travelers  to  be  found  between  St.  Peter's  and  the  British  jiosts, 
a  distance  of  700  miles.  The  liberal  and  untiring  hosi)itality  dis- 
pensed by  this  respectable  family,  the  great  influence  exercised 
by  it  over  the  Indians  of  this  country  in  the  maintenance  of  peace 
and  the  protection  of  travelers  would  denuuid,  besides  our  grati- 
tude, some  especial  acknowledgment  of  the  United  States,  and 
also  from  the  Hudson  Bay  Company." 

The  only  traveler  that  has  ever  given  any  testimony  opposed 
to  this  is  Featherstonluuigh,  an  Englishman,  in  whose  book,  pub- 
lished in  London  in  1847,  and  styled  a  "Canoe  A^'oyage  up  the 
Miiinay  Sotor,"  he  says:  "On  reaching  the  fort,  Renville 
advanced  and  saluted  me,  but  not  cordially,  lie  was  a  <lai-k. 
Indian-looking  person,  showing  no  white  blood,  short  in  his 
stature,  with  strong  features  and  coarse,  black  hair.  *  «  *  ]; 
learned  that  Renville  entertained  a  company  of  stout  Indians  to 
the  number  of  fifty,  in  a  skin  lodge  behind  his  house,  of  extraor- 
dinary dimensions,  whom  he  calls  his  braves,  or  soldiers.  To  these 
men  he  confided  various  trusts,  and  occasionally  sent  them  to 
distant  points  to  transact  his  business.  No  doubt  ho  was  a  very 
inti'iguing  person  and  uncertain  in  his  attachments.  Those  who 
knew  him  intimately  supposed  him  inclined  to  the  British  alle- 
giance, although  he  professes  great  attachment  to  the  American 
government,  a  circumstance,  however,  which  did  not  prevent  him 
from  being  under  the  surveillance  of  the  garrison  at  Fort  Snell- 
ing." 

The  Rev.  T.  S.  Williamson,  of  the  Presbytery  of  Chillicothe, 
arrived  at  Fort  Snelling  in  1834;  then  returned  to  the  East,  and 
in  1835  came  back  with  assistant  missionaries.    Renville  warmly 


86  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY. 

welcomed  him  and  rendered  invaluable  assistance  in  the  establish- 
ment of  the  missions.  Upon  the  arrival  of  the  missionaries  at 
Lac  qui  Parle  he  provided  them  with  a  temporary  home.  He 
acted  as  interpreter,  he  assisted  in  translating  the  Scriptures,  and 
removed  many  of  the  prejudices  of  the  Indians  against  the 
teachers  of  the  white  man's  religion.  His  name  appears  in  con- 
nection with  several  Dakota  books.  Dr.  Watts"  second  catechism 
for  children,  published  in  Boston  in  1837,  by  Crocker  &  Brewster, 
was  partly  translated  by  him.  In  1839.  a  volume  of  extracts  from 
the  Old  Testament,  and  a  volume  containing  the  Gospel  of  Mark, 
was  publishecl  by  Kendall  &  Henry.  Cincinnati,  the  translation 
of  which  was  given  orally  by  ilr.  Renville  and  penned  by  Dr. 
Williamson.  Crocker  &  Brewster  in  1842  published  Dakota 
Dowanju  Kin,  or  Dakota  Hymns,  many  of  which  ^\•ere  composed 
with  the  help  of  Renville.  The  following  tribute  to  his  ability  as 
a  translator  appeared  in  tlie  ilissioiiary  Herald  of  lS4(i,  published 
at  Boston  : 

"'Sir.  Renville  was  a  remarkal)le  nuni,  and  lie  was  remarkable 
for  the  energy  with  whicli  he  pursued  such  objects  as  he  deemed 
of  primary  importance.  His  power  of  observing  and  remembering 
facts,  and  also  words  expressive  of  simple  ideas,  was  extraor- 
dinary Though  in  his  latter  years  he  eoidd  read  a  little,  yet  in 
translating  lu'  seldom  took  a  book  in  his  hand,  choosing  to  depend 
on  hearing  rather  than  sight,  anil  I  have  often  had  occasion  to 
observe  that  after  hearing  a  long  ami  luifamiliar  versi'  read  from 
the  Scriptures,  lie  would  immediately  render  it  from  the  French 
into  Dakota,  two  languages  extremely  unlike  in  their  idioms  and 
idea  of  tlu»  words,  and  i-epeat  it  over  two  or  thi'ee  words  at  a  time, 
so  as  to  give  fidl  ojiportunity  to  write  it  down.  He  had  a  I'emark- 
able  tact  in  discovering  tlie  aim  of  a  speaker,  and  conveying  the 
intended  impression,  when  many  of  the  ideas  and  words  were 
such  as  Imd  nothing  corresponding  to  them  in  the  minds  and 
language  of  the  addressed.  These  qualities  fitted  him  for  an  inter- 
preter, and  it  was  generally  admitted  lu'  had  no  equal." 

It  would  be  improper  to  conclude  this  article  without  some 
remarks  upon  the  religious  character  of  Renville.  Years  before 
there  was  a  clergyman  in  ^Minnesota  he  took  his  Indian  wife  to 
Prairie  du  Chien  and  was  mai-ried  in  accordance  with  Christian 
rites  by  a  minister  of  tlie  Catholic  church.  Before  he  became 
acquainted  with  missionaries  he  sent  to  New  York  for  a  large  folio 
Bible  in  the  French  language,  and  requested  tliose  with  him  in  the 
fur  trade  to  procure  for  him  a  clerk  who  could  read  it.  After 
the  commencement  of  the  ilission  at  Lac  qui  Parle,  liis  wife  was 
the  first  full  Dakota  to  be  recorded  as  converted  to  Protestant 
Christianity.  Before  this,  through  the  instruction  of  her  husband, 
she  had  renounced  the  religion  of  her  fathers.  The  following 
is  an  extract  from  a  translation  of  Mr.  Renville  "s  account  of  his 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  87 

wife's  deatli :  "I  said  to  iier:  'Now,  today,  you  seem  very  mtieh 
exhausted.'  and  she  answered,  'Yes;  this  day,  now  God  invites 
me.  I  am  veniemberintr  Jesus  Clirist.  who  suffered  for  me,  and 
depending  on  him  alone.  Today  I  shall  stand  before  (!od,  and 
will  ask  him  for  merey  for  you  and  all  my  ehildren,  and  all  my 
kinsfolk.' 

Afterwards,  when  all  her  ehildi'en  and  relatives  sat  around 
her  weeping,  she  said:  "11  is  holy  day,  sing  and  pray."  From 
eai'ly  in  the  moi-ninp  she  was  speaking  of  God  and  telling  her  hus- 
band what  to  do.  Thus  she  died  in  the  faith  of  that  Christ  whose 
story  was  first  taught  her  by  Catholie  ])riests  and  later  by  Pres- 
byterian missionaries. 

In  1841  Renville  was  chosen  and  ordained  a  ruling  elder  in 
the  ehureh  at  Lae  qui  Parle,  and  from  that  time  till  his  death  dis- 
charged the  duties  of  his  office  in  a  nuinner  acceptable  and  profit- 
able both  to  the  luitive  members  of  the  church  and  the  mission. 
After  a  sickness  of  some  days,  in  March,  1846,  his  strong  frame 
began  to  give  evidence  of  speedy  decay.  Dr.  Williamson  thus 
narrates  the  death  scene:  "The  evening  before  his  decease  he 
asked  me  what  became  of  the  soul  immediately  after  death.  I 
reminded  him  of  our  Saviour's  words  to  the  thief  on  the  cross, 
and  Paul's  desire  to  depart  and  be  with  Christ.  He  said,  'That  is 
sufficient,'  and  presently  added,  'I  have  great  hope  I  shall  be 
saved  thi'ongli  grace.'  Next  morning  (Sunday)  about  eight 
o'clock  I  was  called  to  see  him.  He  M'as  so  evidently  in  the  agonies 
of  death.  I  did  not  tliink  of  attempting  to  do  anything  for  him. 
After  some  time  his  bi'eathing  becoming  easier,  he  was  asked  if 
he  wished  to  hear  a  hyuui.  He  replied,  'Yes.'  After  it  was  sung 
he  said,  'It  is  very  good.'  As  he  i-eclined  on  the  bed,  I  saw  a 
sweet  serenity  settling  on  his  cotintenance,  and  I  thought  that 
his  severest  struggle  was  probably  passed,  and  so  it  proved.  The 
clock  striking  ten,  he  looked  at  it  and  intinuited  that  it  was  time 
for  us  to  go  to  church.  As  we  were  about  to  leave  he  extended 
his  withered  hand.  After  we  left,  he  spoke  some  words  of  ex- 
hortation to  his  family,  then  prayed  and  before  noon  calmly  and 
quietly  yielded  up  his  spirit." 

Sixty-seven  years  passed  by,  before  he  closc^d  his  eyes  upon 
the  world.  The  citizens  of  Kentucky  delight  in  the  memory  of 
Daniel  Boone;  let  the  citizens  of  ^linnesota  not  forget  Joseph 
Renville. 


88  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

CHAPTER  YII. 
RIVER  NAVIGATION. 

Indian  Days  on  the  Minnesota — Mackinaw  Boats — Early  Voy- 
agers— Period  of  Steam  Navigation — Names  of  Boats  Which 
Reached  the  Upper  Stretches  of  the  River — Gradual  Reduc- 
tion in  River  Traffic. 

Jlinuesota  received  its  name  from  the  longest  river  which  lies 
■wholly  Avithin  this  state,  excepting  only  its  sources  above  Big 
Stone  lake.  During  a  hundred  and  sixt.y  years,  up  to  the  time 
of  the  organization  of  Minnesota  Territory,  in  1849.  the  name  St. 
Pierre,  or  St.  Peter,  had  heen  generally  applied  to  this  river 
by  French  and  English  explorers  and  writers,  probably  in  honor 
of  Pierre  Charles  Le  Sueur,  its  first  white  explorer.  The  ab- 
original Sioux  name  Minnesota  means  clouded  water  (ilinne, 
water  and  sola,  somewliat  clouded),  and  Neill,  on  the  authority 
of  Rev.  (lideon  II.  Poiul.  poetically  translated  this  to  mean  sky- 
tinted.  The  river  at  its  stages  of  flood  becomes  whitishly  turbid. 
An  illustration  of  tlu^  meaning  of  the  word  has  been  told  by 
Jlrs.  Closes  N.  Adams,  the  widow  of  the  veneralde  missionary 
of  the  Dakotas.  She  states  that  at  various  times  the  Dakota 
women  explained  it  to  her  by  dropping  a  little  milk  into  water 
and  calling  tlie  wliitishly  clouded  water  "JMinue  sota."  This 
name  was  proposed  by  General  II.  H.  Sibley  and  Hon.  ilorgan 
L.  ilartin,  of  Wisconsin,  in  the  years  1846  to  1848.  as  the  name 
of  the  new  territory,  Avliicli  tlius  followed  the  example  of  Wis- 
consin in  adopting  the  tith^  of  a  large  stream  within  its  borders. 

During  the  next  few  years  after  the  selection  of  the  terri- 
torial name  ^Minnesota,  it  displaced  tlie  nanu^  St.  Peter  as  ap- 
plied in  common  \isage  by  the  white  people  to  the  river,  whose 
euphonious  ancient  Dakota  title  will  continue  to  be  borne  b}^ 
the  river  and  the  state  probably  long  after  tlie  Dakota  language 
sliall  cease  to  be  spoken. 

The  Chippewa  name  for  tlie  stream,  Ash-kubogi-sibi.  "The 
River  of  the  Green  Leaf"  is  now  nearly  forgotten,  and  the  French 
name  St.  Pierre  is  known  only  by  historians. 

The  picturesque  river  Avhicli  gave  oiu'  commonwealth  its  name 
had  always  been  an  important  feature  in  the  geography  and  his- 
tory of  this  northwest  country. 

The  geologrst  reads  in  the  deep  erosion  of  this  valley,  and  in 
its  continuance  to  Lake  Traverse,  which  outflows  to  Lake  Winni- 
peg and  Hudson  bay,  the  story  of  a  mighty  river,  the  outlet  of 
a  vast  ancient  lake  covering  the  Red  river  region  in  the  closing 
part  of  the  Glacial  period.  What  use,  if  any,  the  primitive  men 
of  that  time  made  of  this  majestic  stream,  we  know  not. 


HISTORY  OP  RENVILLE  COUNTY  89 

Many  anil  varii'il  have  been  the  scenes  enaeti'd  upon  its  hanks, 
scenes  of  tliiillinir  adventure  and  glorious  valor,  as  ■well  as  of 
liappy  nierrinient  and  tender  love.  It  was  for  centuries  the 
arena  of  many  a  sanguinary  conflict,  and  the  blood  of  the  loM'as, 
T);d<()tas,  0.jil)\\  ays.  and  white  men,  often  niinoled  freely  with 
its  Hood, 

For  generations  unknown  tlu'  only  craft  its  bosom  bore  was 
the  canoe  of  tlie  Indian,  Then  came  the  French  traders,  with 
their  retinue  of  voyagers,  who  made  our  river  an  avenue  of  a 
gi-eat  conuiiercc  in  Indian  goods  and  costly  furs.  For  ovei-  a 
Inuidred  years  fleets  of  canoes  and  ^Mackinaw  boats,  laden  with 
Indian  mei'chandise,  i)lied  constantly  along  the  river's  sinuous 
leugtli.  The  sturdy  voyagers,  however,  left  to  history  but  a  scant 
record  of  their  adventurous  life,  A  brave  and  hardy  race  were 
they,  inured  to  every  ])eril  and  hardship,  yet  ever  content  and 
happy :  and  long  did  tlie  wooded  bluffs  of  the  iliniiesota  echo 
with  their  songs  of  old  France, 

Tlie  first  white  men  known  to  liavi'  navigated  the  JMinnesota 
were  Le  Sue\ii'  and  his  party  of  miners,  who  entered  its  nio^ith 
in  a  felucca  and  two  row  boats  on  S(>ptember  20,  1700,  and 
reached  the  mouth  of  the  Blue  Earth  on  the  thirtieth  of  the  same 
month.  The  next  spring  ho  carried  with  him  down  the  river  a 
])oat-loa(l  of  blue  or  green  shale  which  he  had  dug  from  the 
blutt's  of  the  Blue  Earth,  in  mistake  for  copper  ore.  Much  more 
profitable,  doubtless,  he  found  the  boat-load  of  beaver  and  other 
Indian  furs,  which  he  took  with  him  at  tlie  same  time.  This  is 
the  first  recorded  instance  of  freight  transportalion  on  the  I\Iin- 
uesota  river. 

In  the  winter  of  1819-20,  a  deputation  of  Lord  Selkirk's  Scotch 
colony,  who  had  settled  near  the  site  of  Winnipeg,  traveled 
through  Minnesota  to  Prairie  du  Cliieii,  a  journey  of  about  a 
thousand  miles,  to  purchase  seed  wln-al.  On  April  1."),  IS'JO,  they 
started  back  in  three  Mackinaw  boa1s  loaded  with  200  bushels 
of  wheat,  100  bushels  of  oats,  and  -iO  bushels  of  peas.  Duiing 
the  month  of  ^lay  they  ascended  tlie  ^linnesota  from  its  mouth 
to  its  source,  and,  dragging  their  loaded  boats  over  the  ])<)rtage 
on  rollers,  descended  the  Red  river  to  their  homes,  which  they 
reached  early  in  June, 

The  Mackinaw  or  keel  boats  used  on  the  river  in  those  days 
were  open  vessels  of  from  twenty  to  fifty  feet  in  length  l)y  four 
to  ten  feet  in  width,  and  capable  of  carrying  from  two  to  eight 
tons  burden. 

They  were  propelled  by  either  oars  or  poles  as  the  exigencies 
of  the  river  might  require.  The  crew  usually  comprised  from 
five  to  nine  men.  One  acted  as  steersman,  and.  in  poling,  the 
others,  ranging  themselves  in  order  upon  a  plank  laid  lengthwise 
of  the  boat  on  each   side,  would   push   the  boat   ahead:   and   as 


90  HISTORY  OF  KEXVILLE  COUNTY 

eaeli,  in  rotatioii.  reached  the  steru,  he  would  pick  up  his  pole 
aud  start  again  at  the  prow.  Their  progress  in  ascending  the 
river  wonld  be  from  five  to  fifteen  miles  per  day.  depending  upon 
the  stage  of  the  watei-  and  the  numlier  of  rapids  they  had  to 
climb. 

Dr.  Tliomas  S.  Williamson,  the  noted  missionary  to  the  In- 
dians, in  describing  his  first  journey  up  the  valley  of  the  Min- 
nesota, in  June.  lS3o.  gives  an  interesting  account  of  how  he 
shipped  his  wife  and  children  and  his  fellow  helpers.  Mr.  and 
Mrs.  A.  G.  Huggins.  with  their  goods,  on  one  of  these  boats,  which 
was  nine  days  in  making  the  trip  from  Fort  Snelling  to  Traverse 
des  Sioux. 

In  the  correspondence  of  Mrs.  S.  R.  Riggs,  the  wife  of  an- 
other famous  missionary  to  the  Sioux,  is  found  a  vivid  picture 
of  a  Mackinaw  boat,  belonging  to  the  old  Indian  trader.  Phil- 
ander Prescott,  in  which  she  ascended  tlie  Minnesota  in  Septem- 
ber, 1837.  It  was  about  forty  feet  long  by  eight  feet  wide  and 
capable  of  carrying  about  five  tons.  It  was  manned  by  a  crew 
of  five  ])ersous,  one  to  steer,  and  two  on  each  side  to  furnish 
the  motive  power.  Oars  were  used  as  far  as  to  the  Little  Rapids, 
about  three  miles  above  Carver,  and  tin-nee  to  Ti'averse  des  Sioux 
poles  were  employed.     The  joiuuiey  consumed  five  days. 

Illustrative  of  the  size  and  capa<-ity  of  some  of  the  canoes 
used  by  the  traders,  we  find  George  A.  IMel.eod  in  April,  1853, 
bringing  down  from  I>ac  qui  Parle  to  Traverse  des  Sioux  forty 
bushels  of  potatoes,  besides  a  crew  of  five  men.  in  a  single  canoe 
twenty-five  feet  long  by  forty-four  inches  wide,  hollowed  out  of 
a  huge  Cottonwood  tree. 

The  first  steamboat  to  enter  the  IMiiniesota  river  was  the  Vir- 
ginia on  May  10.  1823.  She  was  not  a  large  vessel,  being  only 
118  feet  long  by  22  feet  wide,  and  she  only  ascended  as  far  as 
Mendota  and  Fort  Snelling,  which  during  the  period  between 
the  years  1820  and  1848  were  about  the  only  points  of  importance 
in  the  territory  now  embraced  within  our  state.  Hence  all  the 
boats  navigating  the  upper  ^Mississippi  in  those  days  had  to 
enter  the  Minnesota  to  reach  these  terminal  jjoints. 

Except  foi'  these  landings  at  its  mouth,  aiul  save  that  in  1842 
a  small  steamei'  with  a  party  of  excursionists  on  board  ascended 
it  as  far  as  the  ol<l  Indian  village  near  Shakopee,  no  real  attempt 
was  made  to  navigate  the  Minnesota  with  steamboats  until  1850. 
Prior  to  this  time  it  was  not  seriously  thought  that  the  river  Avas 
navigable  to  any  great  distance  for  any  larger  craft  than  a  keel 
boat,  and  the  demonstration  to  the  contrary,  then  witnessed,  has 
made  that  year  notable  in  the  history  of  the  state. 

On  June  28,  1850,  the  Anthony  Wayne,  which  had  just  ar- 
rived at  St.  Paul  with  a  pleasure  party  from  St.  Louis,  agreed 
to  take  all  passengers  for  $225  as  far  up  the  ilinuesota  as  navi- 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  91 

gatioii  was  possible.  They  reached  the  foot  of  the  rapids  near 
Carvel',  tiic  fa|)taiii  dcciiled  not  to  continue  tlic  passage,  turned 
the  steaiul)oat  hoiiicwaiil.  Emidons  of  tlie  Wayne's  achievement, 
the  Nominee,  a  lival  boat,  arranged  another  excursion  July  12, 
ascended  tlie  Minnesota,  passing  the  formidable  rapids,  placing 
her  shingh!  tiiree  miU>s  higher  up  the  river.  The  Wayne,  not  to 
be  outdone,  on  .luly  IS  witli  a  Ihird  excursion  party,  ascended 
the  river  two  or  three  miles  below  the  present  city  of  Mankato. 
The  success  of  these  boats  incited  the  Karris'  line  to  advertise  a 
big  excursion  on  the  Yankee,  and  that  steamer  reached  a  point 
on  the  ilinnesota  river,  a  little  above  the  prt>seiit  village  of  .Tnd- 
son,  in  Blue  JOaith  county. 

The  steamer  Excelsior,  in  the  summer  of  1851,  conveyed  the 
treaty  commissioners,  their  attendants  and  supplies  to  Traverse 
des  Sioux,  and  later  the  Benjamin  Franklin,  No.  1,  ascended 
the  river  with  a  load  of  St.  Paul's  excursionists  to  witness  the 
progress  of  the  famous  treaty.  In  the  fall  the  Uncle  Toby  con- 
veyed to  Traverse  des  Sioux,  the  first  load  of  Indian  goods  under 
the  new  treaty. 

The  springing  up  of  embryo  towns  in  the  Minnesota  ^'alley 
stimulated  steamboat  transportation,  and  during  the  early  sea- 
son of  1852,  the  steamboat  Tiger  made  three  trips  to  Mankato. 
The  midsummer  i-ains  having  restored  the  navigable  condition 
of  the  river,  the  Black  Hawk  was  chartered  in  July  for  three 
trips  to  ilankato.  She  also  made  during  the  season  two  trips 
to  Babcoek's  Landing,  ojiposite  the  present  site  of  St.  Peter,  and 
one  to  Traverse  des  Sioux.  The  Jenny  liind  and  Enterprise  were 
also  engaged  in  the  ti-affic. 

Navigation  was  ojiened  on  the  Minnesota  in  1853  by  the  new 
boat,  the  (ii-eek  Slave;  the  Clarion,  also  lU'w,  entered  the  trade 
this  year. 

Two  events  of  1853,  of  much  importance  in  the  development 
ol'  the  ^linnesota  river  trade,  were  the  establishing  upon  its  head 
waters  of  the  Sioux  Agencies  and  tiie  erection  in  their  vicinity 
of  Fort  Ridgely.  The  necessity  thus  created,  of  trausi)oi-ting  to 
such  a  distance  uj)  the  river  the  large  quantity  of  supplies  re- 
quired aniuially  by  both  soldier  and  Indian,  gave  an  impetus 
for  years  to  tlie  steand)oat  traffic  of  the  ^Minnesota. 

The  West  Newton,  ('a])tain  D.  S.  Harris,  secured  the  eon- 
tract  to  eon\ey  the  troojjs  with  tlieir  baggage  fr-oni  Fort  Sncdling 
to  the  new  i)0st.  Slie  was  a  small  packet,  150  feet  long  and  of 
300  tons  burden,  and  liad  been  bought  the  summec  before  by  the 
Harris  brothers  to  compete  with  the  Nominee  in  the  Mississippi 
river  trade.  She  left  Fort  Snelling  on  Wednesday,  the  twenty- 
seventh  of  April,  1853,  having  on  board  two  companies  of  the 
Sixth  U.  S.  Regiment,  in  command  of  Captains  Dana  and  ]\Ion- 
roe.     To  helj)  carry  baggage,  she  had   two  barges  in   tow.     The 


92  HISTORY  OP  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

Tiger  had  also  departed  from  St.  Paul  on  tlie  tweuty-fiftli,  and 
the  Clarion  on  the  twenty-sixth,  eaeh  Avitli  a  eoiiiih-  of  barges  in 
tow,  lieavily  loaded  with  siqiplies  for  the  new  fort  and  the  agen- 
cies. Tlie  "West  Newton,  being  the  swiftest  boat,  luissed  the 
Clarion  at  Henderson,  and  the  Tiger  near  tlie  Big  Cottonwood, 
and  thence  to  tlie  site  of  the  new  fort  (Fort  Ridgely)  at  the 
month  of  Little  Rock  creek,  was  the  first  steamer  to  disturb  the 
waters  of  our  sky-tinted  river. 

The  ilinnesota  this  year  remained  navigable  all  summer,  and 
a  number  of  boats  ascended  it  to  Fort  Ridgely  and  the  Lower 
Sioux  Agency,  Avhile  others  went  to  ^lankato  and  other  points. 
The  passenger  travel,  as  well  as  the  freight  trade,  was  excellent. 

The  Avinter  of  1853-1854  was  mild  and  open  :  the  river  l)roke 
up  early  without  the  usual  freshet.  Owing  to  the  success  of  the 
prior  season,  the  boatmen  liad  great  expectations.  They  were, 
however,  doomed  to  disappointment,  ('aptain  Samuel  Hundiert- 
son,  who  owned  the  stern  wheel  steamboat  Clarion,  had  sold  it 
and  purchased  a  fine  new  boat,  170  feet  long  with  thirty-eight 
staterooms,  which  he  called  the  ^Minnesota  Belle,  ilay  3,  with 
a  large  load  of  innnigrauts  and  freight,  he  started  up  the  Minne- 
sota. His  new  boat  failed  to  climb  the  Little  Rapids,  near  Carver, 
and  he  had  to  abandon  the  trip.  A  rainfall  a  few  days  later 
swelled  the  river,  and  enabled  the  Black  Hawk  to  reach  Traverse 
des  Sioux.  The  Tola  and  Montello.  during  the  summer,  ran 
fairly  regidar  trips  between  Little  Rapids  and  Traverse  des  Sioux 
supplementing  the  Black  Hawk,  Huud^olt  and  other  boats  plying 
below  the  rapids. 

Large  keel  boats,  denonnnated  bargt's,  propelled  after  the 
ancient  method  by  a  crew  of  men  with  poles,  became  common  on 
the  river  this  year.  Andrew  G.  ^lyrick  placed  two  of  these 
barges  on  the  river  in  charge  of  the  Russell  boys.  These  vessels 
were  from  50  to  60  feet  long,  10  to  1-  feet  wide,  and  with  sides 
four  to  five  feet  high,  along  the  top  of  which  was  fastened  a 
plank  walk,  for  the  use  of  the  pole  men.  A  small  low  cabin  for 
the  cook  Avas  built  in  the  stern,  and  during  foul  weather  a  big 
tarpaulin  Avas  spread  over  the  goods.  A  full  crcAV  consisted  of 
a  captain,  avIio  also  acted  as  steersman,  ten  to  a  dozen  pole  men, 
and  a  cook.  With  a  fair  stage  of  Avater  the  usual  speed  up 
stream  Avas  twelve  to  fourteen  miles  a  day,  but  if  sandbars  or 
rapids  interfered  a  mile  or  tAvo  Avould  be  a  hard  day's  journey. 
Down  stream,  hoAvever,  they  Avould  travel  much  faster.  ]\[ost 
of  the  supplies  for  Fort  Ridgely  and  the  Sioux  Agencies,  as 
Avell  as  for  all  up  river  toAvus,  had  to  be  transported  this  year 
in  such  barges. 

The  snoAvfall  in  the  Avinter  of  1854-1855  Avas  again  light  conse- 
quently the  Minnesota  continued  Ioav  during  the  folloAving  spring. 
Louis  Robert,  having  the  contract  this  year  to  deliver  the  Sioux 


HISTORY  OF  RENVIIJ.K  COCXTV  93 

aiiiniitirs.  Took  tliriii  up  to  the  Agency  late  in  Oetohcr  in  tli.' 
Globe,  of  wliieh  Edwin  ]iell  was  then  captain.  Witliin  two  miles 
of  the  landing  the  boat  struck  on  a  rock,  and  the  goods  had  to  he 
unloaded  on  the  river  hank.  While  Captains  Roberts  and  l>cll 
■were  gone  to  carry  the  Indian  money,  amounting  to  if;!K), ()()()  in 
gold,  to  Fort  Ridgely,  the  Indians,  who  were  gathered  in  I'orce 
to  divide  the  provisions,  carelessly  set  fire  to  the  dry  grass,  which 
was  t|uickly  couimunieated  to  the  pile  of  goods,  and  most  of  tlicm, 
including  tifty  kegs  of  powder,  Avere  destroyed. 

Of  his  experiences,  Captain  Edwin  Bel!  had  said:  '"In  IS."),') 
I  had  command  of  the  steamer  Globe,  making  trips  on  the  ^liiine- 
sota  river,  and  in  the  early  fall  of  that  year  we  carried  supplies 
to  the  Sionx  at  Redwood  Agency.  The  Indians  would  com<'  down 
the  river  several  miles  to  meet  the  boat.  They  were  like  a  lot 
of  children,  and  when  the  steamboat  approached  they  would 
shout,  'Nito)ika  Pata-wata  washta,'  meaning  'Your  big  fire-canoe 
is  good."  'i'lu'V  would  then  cut  across  Ihc  bend,  yelling  until  we 
reached  the  landing. 

"In  the  fall  of  that  year.  185'),  their  sui)plies  wei'c  late, 
when  T  received  orders  from  Agent  Murphy  to  turn  over  to  tiie 
Indians  twelve  barrels  of  pork,  and  twelve  barrels  of  flour.  As 
soon  as  we  landed,  we  rolled  the  sup|)lies  on  shore.  I  was  in- 
formed that  the  Indians  Avere  in  a  starving  condition.  It  Avas 
amusing  to  see  fiA'e  or  six  of  them  rolling  a  barrel  of  pork  up 
the  bank.  Avhen  tAvo  of  our  deck  hands  Avould  do  the  Avork  in  hal!' 
the  time. 

"A  young  Indian  gii'l  stood  at  the  end  of  the  gang  plank, 
Avringing  her  hands  and  looking  toAvard  the  boat,  exclaiming 
'Sunka  sanieha,'  meaning  'They  have  my  dog.'  The  cabin  boy 
told  me  the  cook  had  coaxed  the  dog  on  board  and  hitl  it.  I 
could  speak  the  lauguage  so  as  to  be  iniderstood,  and  1  mo- 
tioned to  the  girl  and  said,  'Niye  kuAva,'  meaning  'Come  here.' 
She  came  on  board,  and  I  told  the  cook  to  bring  the  dog  to  me. 
When  the  dog  came,  she  caught  it  in  her  arms,  exclaiming, 
'Suuka  Avashta,'  meaning  'Good  dog.'  She  then  ran  on  shore 
and  up  the  hill.  It  seemed  to  me  that  Avhite  people  took  advan- 
tage of  the  Indian  Avhen  they  could,  even  steamboat  cooks. 

"When  the  flour  and  pork  Avere  on  level  ground,  the  bai'rcd 
heads  Avere  knocked  in,  and  the  pork  Avas  cut  in  small  strii)s  and 
thrown  in  a  ])ile.  Tavo  hundi-ed  squaAvs  then  formed  a  circle, 
and  several  Indians  handed  the  pieces  of  pork  to  the  squaAvs  until 
the  i)ile  Avas  disposed  of.  The  flour  Avas  placed  in  tin  pans,  each 
squaw  receiving  a  panful. 

"Later,  in  the  same  season,  Ave  had  an  unfortunate  trip.  The 
boat  Avas  loaded  deep.  Luckily  Agent  IMurphy  and  Capt.  Louis 
Robert  Avere  on  board.  We  had  in  the  cabin  of  the  boat  ninety 
thousand  dollars  in  gold.     About  thri'c  iiules  beloAv  the  Agency, 


94  msTOKY  OF  KENVILLE  COUNTY 

we  rau  ou  a  large  boulder.  After  much  effort,  we  got  the  boat 
afloat,  ilajor  I\Iiirphj-  gave  orders  to  land  the  goods,  so  that 
they  might  be  hauled  to  the  Agency.  "We  landed  and  unloaded, 
covering  the  goods  with  tarpaulins.  There  were  about  fifty  kegs 
of  powder  with  the  goods.  While  we  were  unloading,  the  agent 
sent  for  a  team  to. take  Captain  Robert  and  himself,  with  the 
gold,  to  the  Agency.  Then  we  started  down  the  river.  We  had 
gone  only  a  few  miles,  when  we  discovered  a  dense  smoke,  caused 
by  a  prairie  fire.  The  smoke  was  rolling  toward  the  pile  of 
goods,  which  we  had  left  in  charge  of  two  men.  When  we 
reached  the  ferry  at  Red  Bank,  a  man  on  horseback  motioned 
us  to  land,  and  told  us  that  the  goods  we  left  were  all  burned 
up  and  the  powder  exj)lo(led.    This  was  a  sad  blow  to  the  Indians. 

"The  following  is  a  list  of  the  steamboats  I'unuiug  on  the 
Minnesota  river,  during  high  water,  in  the  year  1855  aud  later: 
Clarion,  Captain  Ilumberson ;  Globe,  Captain  Edwin  Bell ;  Time 
and  Tide,  Captain  Nelson  Robert ;  Jeannette  Roberts,  Captain 
Charles  Timmeus;  ^lollie  iloler,  Cai)tain  Houghton:  ^Minnesota, 
Captain  Hays:  and  the  Frank  Steele  and  Favorite,  both  side- 
wheel  steamers.  These  boats  were  drawn  off  when  the  water  got 
low;  and  wlien  the  railroad  iiarallded  the  river,  all  boats  quit 
running. 

"On  the  sixteenth  day  of  December,  1895,  I  called  on  Gov- 
ernor Ramsey  again,  to  talk  over  old  tiiiu'S,  forty-five  years  after 
my  first  call.  What  clianges  have  taken  place  since  then!  When 
I  started  to  leave,  I  thought  I  would  see  how  much  the  governor 
remembered  of  the  .Sioux  language.  I  said,  'Governor,  nitonka 
tepee,  washta."  'What  did  you  say,  captain?'  asked  the  gov- 
ernor. I  replied,  'Nitonka  tepee,  washta.'  'Why,  captain,'  said 
he,  'that  means,  my  house  is  large  and  good:'  aud,  with  a  wink, 
'Cai3tain,  let's  have  a  nip.'  Of  course  we  nii)ped.  and  said  'IIo!' 
All  old  settlers  will  know  the  meaning  of  the  Sioux  exclamation, 
'Ho!'" 

A  good  fall  of  snow  during  the  winter  of  1855-56  caused  an 
abundant  supply  of  water  in  the  river  next  spring.  The  navi- 
gation of  the  Minnesota  for  the  season  of  1856  was  opened  on 
April  10  by  the  Reveille,  a  stern-wheel  packet,  in  command  of 
Captain  R.  M.  Spencer.  Four  days  later,  the  Globe,  with  Nelson 
Robei't  as  captain,  departed  from  St.  Paul  for  the  sanu;  river, 
and  she  was  followed  the  next  day  by  the  H.  S.  Allen. 

The  Reveille  was  considered  a  fast  traveler,  and  as  an  in- 
stance of  her  speed  it  is  recorded  that  on  hei'  second  trip  of  this 
year  she  left  St.  Paul  at  2  p.  m.  on  Thursday,  April  17,  with  132 
passengers  and  a  full  load  of  freight,  and  arrived  at  ilankato  by 
Saturday;  and  that  leaving  the  latter  place  at  5  a.  m.  the  next 
day,  .she  reached  St.  Paul  by  8  p.  m.  that  evening,  after  having 
made  twenty -four  landings  on  the  way. 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  95 

On  Maj'  5,  the  Reveillf  landed  at  jMankato  »  company  of  set- 
tlers numbering  two  or  three  hundred,  known  as  the  Mapleton 
Colony;  and  the  following  Saturday  (May  10)  the  H.  T.  Yeatmau 
laiiilod  at  South  Rend  a  company  of  Welsh  settlers  from  Ohio, 
numbering  121  souls.  The  Yeatman  was  a  large  stern-wheel  boat, 
about  the  largest  that  ascended  the  Minnesota,  and  this  was  her 
first  trip.  She  contiiuied  in  the  trade  only  a  few  weeks,  while  the 
water  was  high.  Her  captain  was  Samuel  (i.  Cabbell.  Regular 
trips  were  made  this  year  by  several  boats  to  Fort  Ridgely  and 
the  Lower  Sioux  Agency,  and  some  ascended  to  the  Upper 
Agency,  at  the  mouth  of  the  Yellow  Medicine  i-iver. 

The  time  table  of  Louis  Robert's  fine  packet,  tlie  Time  and 
Tide,  issued  for  this  season,  shows  the  distance  from  St.  Paul  to 
Yellow  Medicine  to  be  446  miles.  To  an  old  settler  who  actually 
traveled  on  a  ^Minnesota  river  steamboat  in  those  early  days,  the 
idea  of  a  time  table  may  seem  rather  amusing;  for  if  there  was 
anything  more  uncertain  as  to  its  coming  and  going,  or  more  void 
of  any  idea  of  regularity,  than  a  steamboat  the  old  time  traveler 
never  heard  of  it.  Now  stopping  in  some  forest  glen  for  wood, 
now  tangled  in  the  overhanging  boughs  of  a  tree  with  one  or 
both  smoke-stacks  demolished,  now  fast  for  hours  on  some  sand- 
bar, and  now  tied  up  to  a  tree  to  repair  the  damage  done  by 
some  snag,  while  the  i)assengers  sat  on  the  bank  telling  stories. 
or  went  hunting,  or  feasted  on  the  luscious  wild  strawberries 
or  .iuiey  plums  which  grew  abundantly  in  the  valley,  were  com- 
mon occurrences  in  steamboat  travel.  IManj'  a  pioneer  remembers 
the  Time  and  Tide,  and  how  its  jolly  captain,  Louis  Robert, 
would  sing  out  with  sonorous  voice,  when  the  boat  was  about  to 
start,  "All  aboard!  Time  and  Tide  waits  for  no  man,"  and  then 
add.  with  a  sly  twinkle  in  his  e.ve,  "and  only  a  few  minutes  for 
a  woman."  Though  we  of  today  may  think  such  method  of 
travel  tedious,  yet  it  had  many  pleasant  featui-es,  and  to  the 
people  of  that  time,  unaccustomed  to  the  "flyers"  and  "fast 
mails"  of  today,  it  seemed  quite  satisfactory. 

The  Minnesota  river  trade  was  unusually  brisk  in  IS.")?  owing 
to  a  good  stage  of  water.  Two  new  boats  entered  this  year, 
the  Frank  Steele,  a  side  wheel  packet,  owned  by  Captain  W.  F. 
Davidson,  and  the  Jeannette  Robert,  a  large  stern  wheel  packet, 
owned  by  Captain  Louis  Robert.  The  total  trips  made  during 
the  season  was  292,  of  which  the  Antelope  made  105. 

The  winter  of  1857-1858  proved  very  mild,  and  the  iliiuiesota 
river  broke  up  unusually  early  and  was  kept  in  good  navigable 
condition  during  the  season.  The  Freighter  was  the  only  new 
boat  to  engage  in  the  trade  this  year.  There  were  179  arrivals  at 
Maukato  from  points  above  as  well  as  below  the  former,  though 
did  not  exceed  twenty-five  or  thirty.     The  total  number  of  trips 


96  IIISTOKY  UF  KE>;\1LLE  COUNTY 

was  394.   tlie  Antelope  again  heading  tlie  list  witli   1201   to  her 
credit. 

In  18.59.  the  river  hroke  np  early  after  a  luihl  winter,  and 
the  Freighter  arrived  at  IMankato,  the  tirst  boat,  on  ilareli  27, 
having  left  St.  Paul  two  days  before.  An  abundant  rainfall  kept 
the  river  in  good  navigable  condition  its  entire  length  through 
most  of  the  season.  The  Favorite,  an  excellent  sidewheel  packet 
of  good  size,  built  expressly  for  tlie  ilinnesota  trade  by  Commo- 
dore Davidson,  entered  as  a  new  boat  this  spring. 

As  the  water  M-as  quite  liigli  in  the  ujjper  Minnesota,  Captain 
John  B.  Davis  of  the  Freighter,  conceived  the  idea  of  crossing 
his  boat  over  from  the  j\Iinuesota  to  Big  Stone  lake  and  thence 
to  the  Red  river,  and  accordingly  about  the  last  of  June  he  at- 
tempted the  feat.  Whether  the  crew  found  too  much  whiskey  at 
New  Flm  or  the  boat  foiuid  too  little  water  on  the  divide,  authori- 
ties differ.  Init  all  agree  tliat  the  captain  and  his  crew  came  home 
in  a  canoe  about  the  last  of  July,  passing  IMankato  on  the  twenty- 
fifth  of  the  month,  having  left  his  steamboat  in  dry  dock  near  tlie 
Dakota  liui-.  The  Freighter  was  a  small,  flat-bottomed,  square- 
bowed  boat.  The  Indians  pillaged  her  of  everything  but  the 
hull,  and  that,  half  buried  in  tlie  sand  aliout  ten  miles  below 
Big  Stone  lake,  remained  visible  for  twenty  or  tliirty  years.  The 
captain  always  claimed  that  if  he  had  started  a  month  earlier 
his  attempt  would  have  been  .successful. 

The  navigation  on  the  ^Minnesota  in  1860,  owing  to  the  low 
water,  was  mostly  confined  to  the  little  Antelope,  in  her  trips  to 
Shakopee  and  Chaska.  Of  250  arrivals  at  St.  Paul  she  had  to  her 
credit  198.  The  new  boat  Albany,  of  very  light  draught,  also  the 
Eolian,  which  had  been  raised  from  the  bottom  of  Lake  Pepin, 
where  she  had  lain  since  the  spring  of  1858,  and  the  Little  Dorrit 
were  put  into  the  trade  instead  of  the  Frank  Steele,  the  Time 
and  Tide  and  the  Favorite,  which  came  up  as  far  as  St.  Peter 
for  a  trip  or  two.  The  Jeanuette  Robert  managed  to  get  up  as 
far  as  Mankato  a  few  times,  and  during  a  small  freshet  in  July, 
made  one  trip  to  the  Sioux  Agency. 

The  spring  of  1861  opened  with  a  big  flood  in  the  Minnesota. 
The  first  boat,  the  Albany,  left  St.  Paul  on  March  30,  and  arrived 
at  Mankato  April  1.  She  was  officered  by  J.  V.  Webber,  captain 
(who  was  now  the  owner,  having  purchased  her  from  the  David- 
sou  company  in  ilarcli),  Warren  (ioulden,  first  clei-k,  and  Moses 
Gates,  engineer.  It  was  claimed  by  the  older  Indians  and  traders 
that  the  upper  Minnesota  was  higher  this  spring  than  it  had  been 
since  1821.  In  April  the  Jeannette  Robert  ascended  farther  up 
the  river  by  two  miles  than  any  steamboat  had  ever  done  befoi'e, 
and  might  easily  have  accomplished  what  the  Freighter  attempted 
and  failed  to  do  in  1859,  to  wit,  pass  over  into  the  Red  river,  if 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  97 

slif  liad  tried:  for  tlu'  two  rivers  were  united  1>\  tlieii-  liigli  Hood 
between  lakes  Big  Stoue  and  Traverse. 

Tliis  season  the  Minnesota  Packet  Company,  of  which 
Captain  Orrin  Sniitii  was  president,  put  two  first  class  boats, 
the  City  Belle  and  Fanny  Harris,  into  the  river  to  compete  with 
the  Davidson  an<l  Robert  lines.  The  Fanny  Harris,  on  her  first 
trip,  wliieii  oecui'red  during  the  second  week  of  April,  went  to 
Fort  Ridgely.  and  brought  down  ]\Iajor  (afterwards  General) 
Thomas  W.  Slu-rnian  and  his  battery  to  quell  the  southern  rebel- 
lion, which  liad  just  started.  AVith  her  also  went  the  Favorite, 
and  brought  down  Major  (afterward  General)  John  ('.  Pember- 
ton,  with  his  comiiiand  of  eighty  soldiers,  the  most  of  whom 
being  southern  men,  were  much  in  sympathy  with  their  seceding 
brethren. 

The  bai-ges  of  Cajitain  Cleveland  were  kept  busy  in  the  traffic 
between  Mankato  and  points  below.  The  first  siiipnuMit  of  wheat 
in  bulk  t'riuii  the  Minnesota  was  made  in  June  of  this  year,  1861, 
on  one  of  these  bai-ges.  It  comprised  4,000  bushels,  and  was 
taken  direct  to  T^a  Crosse.  Heretofore  it  had  been  shipped  in 
sacks.  ^Vlleat  had  now  become  the  principal  export  of  the  val- 
ley. During  the  earlier  years  all  the  freight  traiific  on  the  river 
had  been  imiiorted,  but  by  this  tinu>  the  export  of  trains  had 
grown  to  be  an  important  item.  With  so  many  Indians  in  the 
valley  the  shipment  of  furs,  whic-h  at  fii'st  had  been  about  the 
only  expoi't  of  the  coiuitry,  still  continued  valuable;  but  furs, 
because  of  their  small  bulk,  cut  but  little  figure  in  the  boating 
business.  This  year  the  value  of  the  fui's  from  the  Sioux  Agen- 
cies was  .$48,416;  and  from  the  Wiiniebago  country,  >|ill,600. 

From  this  time  there  was  a  gradual  reduction  in  river  traffic. 
In  1866  the  St.  Paul  ami  Sioux  City  railroad  reached  Belle 
Plaine,  and  connections  were  thei'e  made  with  boats  for  points 
higher  up  the  river.  In  October,  1868,  ]\Iankato  was  reached, 
and  in  1871  the  Northwestern  i-ailway  reached  New  I'lm,  which 
jiractically  ended  the  navigation  of  the  ^linnesota  river. 

The  Osceola,  a  small  boat,  owned  by  Mark  1).  Flowers  and 
Captain  Hawkins,  ascended  the  Minnesota  as  far  as  Redwood 
ooce  in  1872.  twice  in  187:?  and  once  in  1874,  the  water  having 
been  low  and  navigation  difficult.  In  1876,  owing  to  high  water 
in  the  spring,  the  Ida  Fulton,  and  Wynian  X  came  up  the  river; 
and  ten  years  later  one  trip  was  made  by  the  Alvii-a.  For  an- 
other ten  years  no  steamboat  was  seen  on  the  Minnesota  until, 
taking  advantage  of  a  freshet  in  April,  1897,  Cajitain  E.  \V.  Durant 
of  Stillwater,  ran  his  boat,  the  Henrietta,  a  stern-wheel  vessel  170 
feet  long  with  forty  staterooms,  on  an  excursion  to  Henderson, 
St.  Peter  and  IMankato. 


98  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

CHAPTER  Vin. 
LAND  OFFICE  RECORDS. 

Original  Claimants  to  Renville  County  Land — Roll  of  Honor  of 
Those  Pioneers  Who  First  Cleared  the  Land  and  Erected 
Cabins — Old  Settlers  Who  Braved  the  Rigors  of  Pioneer  En- 
deavor. 

The  original  patents  to  land  in  Renville  eouiity,  Tipon  which 
all  snhseqiient  deeds  and  transfers  are  based,  were  obtained 
chiefly  under  the  pre-emption  act,  under  the  hoiuestead  law,  and 
from  the  i-ailroads.  The  first  settlers  obtained  their  homes  under 
the  i^re-emption  act,  by  the  provisions  of  which  they  were  re- 
quired to  make  certain  improvements,  to  live  upon  their  land  a 
certain  length  (if  time,  and  to  pay  .^1.25  an  acre.  There  were  cer- 
tain restrictions  as  to  tlie  size  of  the  claim  and  as  to  the  eligi- 
bility of  those  who  filed.  Instead  of  jiaying  money  the  settlers 
often  paid  soldiers"  script  which  they  had  purchased  at  a  dis- 
count. This  script  had  been  issued  to  soldiers,  entitling  each 
veteran  to  a  certain  nundjer  of  acres  free.  Few  of  the  soldiers 
ever  used  this  script  to  obtain  land,  and  thousands  of  these 
papers  fell  into  the  hands  of  speculators,  by  whom  they  were 
sold  to  settlers.  Under  the  homestead  act.  which  replaced  the 
pre-emption  act,  tlie  government  issued  a  p.iteut  after  a  person 
had  lived  on  an  eighth  oi'  quarter  section  (according  to  location) 
for  a  certain  i)eriod.  and  made  certain  improvements.  Many  of 
the  people  obtained  their  land  from  the  railroads:  many  different 
railroads  having  land  in  Renville  county. 

The  folloM'ing  transcriptions  from  the  land  office  I'ecords  gives 
the  original  owners  of  all  the  land  pre-empted  and  homesteaded 
in  Renville  county.  This  is  the  roll  of  honor  of  those  who  dared 
the  rigors  of  a  pioneer  country  and  started  the  first  developments. 
The  list  is  in  the  nmin  accurate,  though,  througli  carelessness  of 
the  land  office  registers  and  their  clerks,  the  original  entries  are 
often  misspelled,  and  transeri]>tions  of  more  or  less  illegible  hand- 
writing since  that  date  have  distorted  some  of  the  names  in  vari- 
ous ways.  But  esjx'cial  eiforts  have  been  made  to  insure  accuracy 
in  this  printed  list,  and  the  names  of  thousands  of  old  pioneers 
will  be  recognized.  A  few  of  the  original  claimants  are  still 
living,  and  many  families  are  still  residing  on  the  original  claim 
of  their  father  or  grandfather. 

In  the  following  list,  wliere  a  person's  farm  hiy  in  several  sec- 
tions, or  where  a  second  claim  was  later  taken  in  another  section, 
only  the  first  section  of  the  first  filing  is  given,  except  in  special 
cases,  for  a  constant  repetition  of  names  would  needlessly  cumber 
the  rolls. 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  99 

Township  113,  range  33  (Baridon).  The  first  claim  in  this 
township  was  filed  by  John  Ragain  on  October  5,  1867,  section  20. 
1876 — Tver  Jercniiason.  22;  Iver  Ivcrson,  22;  Tollef  Poderson, 
22;  Mary  Hansen,  26;  Lars  Olson,  26;  Peter  Olson,  26;  John  P. 
Nestande,  26 ;  Iver  Brandjord,  32 ;  Gabriel  A.  Nelson  34.  1877 — 
John  Kelly  12:  Heirs  of  Michael  Kelly,  12;  Anthony  Kelly,  12; 
Paul  II.  Kiuidson.  14;  Andrew  Dahlqnist,  14.  1878 — Gunerus 
Peterson.  2;  Peter  Pederson,  2;  Ole  Knudsen,  4;  Patrick  Cronin, 
4;  Jeremiah  Desmond,  G:  John  Desmond.  6:  Hans  Carlson,  10; 
Karl  Oleson,  10:  Hans  Gumpolen,  34;  Ole  Erickson,  34.  1879— 
Thomas  Brick,  6;  John  Igo,  24.  1880— Daniel  Hanlon,  6;  Mar- 
garet Desmond,  6;  Jeremiah  O'Shea,  30;  Joseph  Thomas,  24. 
1881 — Thomas  Brick,  6;  James  Hurley,  18;  IMarthiniis  Johanson, 
28.  1882— Patrick  Cronin.  1883— Hans  Carlson,  10;  John  Mc- 
Cabc.  20.  1885— Peder  Ncstaiide,  2;  Eriek  Elleword,  10:  Arthur 
Gribben,  20. 

Township  113,  range  34  (Birch  Cooley).  The  first  claims  were 
filed  in  iSfil.  Fianeis  LaBathe  filed  in  section  29  and  Louis  La- 
Croix,  Jr.,  in  section  32.  No  other  claim  was  filed  until  after 
the  Massacre.  The  first  claim  filed  after  the  Massacre  was  in 
1864.  1864— Heirs  of  John  Zimmerman,  31,  32.  1865— Peter 
Weindger,  20;  Martha  Clausen,  28.  1866— Joseph  Reno,  29.  1867 
— Robert  W.  Davis,  15;  Darwin  S.  Hall,  27;  Philip  Vogtman, 
30;  Benjamin  R.  Damsen,  31;  Joseph  JleCounell,  33;  William 
Tracy,  34.  1868 — Frederick  Blume,  18;  John  Conlon,  20;  Henry 
J.  Whiteher,  22 ;  Samuel  J.  Bacon,  30.  1869— Dennis  Larry,  26 ; 
Thomas  0.  Connor.  26;  John  Delaney,  28;  Joseph  G.  Dean,  29; 
John  Kumro,  32.  1870 — Perry  Burcli  6;  John  R.  Weiiner,  15; 
George  Bnery,  30.  31  ;  Fi-ed  Blume,  30.  1871— William  Killmer, 
14;  Wolfgang  Weis,  19,  20;  Joseph  L.  Preston,  21;  Samuel  H. 
Sands,  22 ;  Patrick  Ryan,  28 ;  John  Tracy,  28 ;  Phineas  Reynolds, 
29 ;  Thomas  Miller,  32 ;  John  Edget,  32 ;  Randall  M.  Simmons,  32. 
1872— David  R.  Culver.  2;  Arnold  Jackson,  8;  Willard  Drury,  11; 
Michael  Kiefer,  18;  Adelmer  Price,  18;  Christian  Blume,  18; 
George  McCullock,  20;  John  Vogtman,  30.  1873— Andrew  J. 
Sherwood,  2;  Thomas  Gilroy,  10;  Patrick  Quirk,  10:  Rufus  H. 
Baker,  14;  John  Foley,  14,  24;  Henry  Sheer,  18;  Terance  Brazil, 
Jr.,  21 ;  Alexander  McConnell,  33 ;  Christian  C.  Roe,  34.  1874— 
^larc-us  Martin,  4;  Heir  of  John  ]\Iauley,  4;  Peter  Henry,  8;  Owen 
T.  Tubbs,  11;  ^lichael  Brick,  22;  James  Leary,  24;  Jeremiah  0. 
Keef e,  24 ;  William  Fox,  26 ;  Daniel  Tracy,  34.  1875— James  M. 
Eaton,  4;  John  Strawsell,  18:  Rufus  F.  Richardson,  22;  Patrick 
Delaney,  22;  Michael  Brazil,  29;  Sanuiel  J.  Comstock,  30;  Wil- 
liam Tracy,  34.  1876 — Robert  Jones,  20;  Michael  Ragen,  24; 
David  Shore,  24.  1877— :\Iiehael  Toole,  34.  1878— John  Carr,  8; 
James  Carr,  8;  John  Drury,  14;  Wesley  Drury,  14.  1879 — John 
Landy,    24.       1880 — John    Jones,    8;    James    Head,    14;    John 


100  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

Desmond,  2-4.      1882— William    H.    Jewell,    22.      1883— Michael 
Ryan.  6. 

Township  112,  range  34  (Birch  Cooley).  The  first  claims  in 
this  township  filed  before  the  Massacre  were  as  follows :  1860 — 
Joseph  Coursoll,  Jr.,  2,  11;  Louisa  Roi,  3,  10;  Lillia  La  Croix,  4; 
Frederick  La  Croix,  4;  Spencer  La  Croix,  4;  John  Magner,  11. 
1861 — Louis  La  Croix,  Jr.,  .5 ;  Antoine  Young,  5.  1862 — June  2, 
Lucy  "\Veeman  Kawertewin,  6.  The  first  claim  after  the  Massa- 
cre was  filed  on  November  10,  1862,  by  Mary  S.  Robertson,  in 
section  6.  1865 — John  Anderson,  13.  1868 — Nelson  C.  Frazier, 
3.  1869— John  Klensler,  12,  1.  1870— Truman  H.  Sherwin,  4: 
Edward  Kleinschmidt,  11,  12,  14;  Holder  Jacobus,  12.  1871— 
Maltris  Persen,  1;  David  D.  Frazier,  4:  Ilobart  B.  Jackson,  10: 
Peter  Lahlte,  12;  Clemens  Tredbar,  12.  1873— Even  J.  Trana,  2: 
Ole  Johnson,  2 ;  Sevald  Iversen,  2 ;  Iver  Iverson,  2 ;  William  H. 
Po.st,  10.  1875.— Engebret  Olson,  10;  Hellick  Anderson,  12.  1876 
— Tnlian  Raisanan,  6.     1877 — Moses  J.  Griffin,  5. 

Township  116,  range  32  (Brookfleld).  The  first  claims  in  this 
township  were  filed  by  Edward  K.  Hitchcock,  September  1,  1865, 
section  2:  E.  J.  Tremper,  August  7,  1865,  section  12;  David  Har- 
rington. August  7.  ]865,  section  13;  Walter  G.  Horton,  August 
7,  1865,  section  14:  James  Moore,  October  7,  1865,  section  15;  Ed- 
ward Hitchcock,  September  1,  1865,  section  22.  1866 — Henry 
Jarret.  4:  James  A.  Beaver,  6;  C.  H.  Pettit,  8;  Ezra  Cornell,  10: 
Seth  0.  Adams,  10:  R.  J.  Mendenhall,  14:  Eben  S.  Fisher,  15; 
George  N.  Fisher,  15 ;  Adam  Schreiver,  21 ;  Henry  Ritz,  Jr.,  21 ; 
James  Edwards,  29;  James  A.  Beaver,  29.  1867— Chas.  T.  Bar- 
kuloo,  6,  8.  1868— Jerome  G.  Todd,  2;  Daniel  G.  Martin,  12. 
1871— Joseph  Catterlin,  12:  Hattie  A.  Waldron,  18.  1872— Alex- 
ander Camp,  26;  Chas.  E.  Porter.  26;  John  Wilt,  26;  Margaret 
Baker,  28;  Edward  K.  Pellet,  34.  1873— John  Booth,  24;  Henry 
.Gerrand,  26  ;  Tliomas  F.  Deming,  28  ;  Dighton  Grinde,  28  ;  William 
Fleet.  28:  George  D.  Stoddard.  28;  George  Taylor,  30;  Edgar  M. 
Ridout,  34.  1874— John  Gerrard,  22;  George  L.  Wilson,  34; 
Bartiuns  Case.  34.  1875— Chas  E.  Porter,  22;  William  A.  Cald- 
well, 34.  1877 — Aubrey  M.  Knight,  18;  Thomas  Simmons,  25; 
Benjamin  J.  Butler,  27;  Abraham  Slingerland,  27;  l^ugal  N.  Mc- 
Call,  33;  Neil  J.  McCall,  33;  Edwin  A.  Kuiskern,  33;  Preston 
Souther,  33;  Julia  D.  Graham,  35.  1878— William  A.  Butler,  27; 
Thomas  F.  Deming,  28;  John  Hendrick,  31;  Southard  E.  Cool- 
idge,  31:  Joseph  Ashbaugh,  34.  1879— Nelson  N.  Shafer,  24: 
Dugal  M.  MeCall,  33 ;  Walter  B.  Graham,  34.  1880— Abner  Daily, 
18 ;  John  Doyle,  30.  1883— George  R.  Peacock,  25 ;  Thomas  Sim- 
mons. 25 ;  William  B.  Chandler,  25 ;  Nathan  C.  Potter,  27 ;  Hugh 
B.  Cannon,  31 ;  Arnold  Cafes,  31 ;  Preston  Souther,  33 ;  Clark  Mc- 
Ewen,  35;  Robert  T.  Whitnall,  35.  1884— John  L.  Farber,  8. 
188.5— Thomas  M.  Paine,  15;  Charles  H.  Davis,  17. 


HISTORY  OF  REXVU.LE  ColN'rv  101 

Township  116,  range  31  (Boon  Lake).  I'Ih-  tiist  claiiu  was 
ttlfd  ill  1856  by  George  M.  Michael  in  scetioii  :i4.  In  iMil.  \'.  P. 
Kciiiiedy  ami  ^1.  R.  Hiulisill  took  elainis  in  sections  7  and  8,  and 
IK)  other  elaiiu  was  tiled  until  after  tlu'  ilassaere.  The  first  one 
aftei-  the  Massacre  was  tiled  in  1864  by  William  Krenimiiiir  in  sec- 
tion 1-i.  186") — Francis  R.  ^laxwell.  4;  Aujriistiis  T.  Perkins,  4; 
Will.  E.  Merrill.  S,  9:  E.  P.  Pussell,  29;  Ira  S.  Shei.liard.  28,  .'W. 
1866— B.  G.  Uiowii.  2:  Ezra  Cornell,  (i :  James  ('.  Ihxltidon.  20; 
.Tose])li  11.  Diake,  27:  Ilattic  L.  Pak.-i-,  28.  :!4.  1867— Avery  W. 
Chase,  2;  Charles  T.  Barkuloo,  (J;  (i.  K.  (iilbert.  10;  Albert  Mar- 
quards.  12;  Gottlieb  Fredritz,  14;  Carl  Bohn,  14.  1868— .Martin 
Sinandt,  4;  Henry  Albert  Schultz,  12.  1869— Ithamer  Ilogue,  2; 
Charles  Eggart,  12;  Albert  W.  Potter,  18;  Ira  L.  Gleasou,  18; 
James  C.  Hodgdon,  20;  Frederick  Wilbreight,  24;  George  R. 
Green,  .32;  George  A.  Gifford,  34.  1870— Ann  M.  Kinney,  10; 
Martin  Ijohrens.  12;  Cliristof  Girehow,  14;  August  Seitilt,  14; 
:\Iaitiii  .Mittwer.  22;  John  Rodman,  24.  1871— Hattie  A.  Wal- 
dron.  8;  Henry  C.  Kulilmaiin,  14;  Oiriii  Hodgdon,  18;  (ieorge  D. 
Potter,  18;  Ludwig  Rannow,  22:  William  .M(d.aiighlin.  22;  C.  F. 
Eggert,  24;  George  D.  Stoddard.  24:  .loliii  (iutheridge,  2(i :  Henry 
T.  White,  26:  (ieorge  S.  Edner,  26;  James  W.  Post,  .'^O :  James 
Chapman,  'iO :  Walter  G.  Simmons,  30;  Mary  Mogarty.  o4.  1872 
— Owen  Carrigan,  22:  -laiiU'S  Carrigan.  22;  George  L,  Wilson,  24; 
Alonzo  P.  ]>riggs,  26;  Warnii  I).  Graham,  28;  William  Phare, 
28;  William  S.  Pierce,  :i() ;  -lames  .McKeoiigh,  :!();  Thomas  Den- 
ning, :!() :  David  Graham,  .!() :  John  II.  T.nsoii.  :'() :  Tiiiioth.v  Mc- 
Keongh,  ;!0 ;  xMoses  T.  Ridoiit,  .{2;  Euey  H.  Case,  32;  Samuel  T. 
Green.  34.  1873— Ernest  1).  Kirst,  14;  August  Reinke,  14:  Elnora 
A.  Potter,  IS;  John  (i.  I'.ouar.  20.  1874 — August  Kressin,  2;  A. 
Leopold  Pfeil.  10;  Fred  Strei.  10;  .Maiy  Kerrigan,  22.  1875— 
Frederick  Liiiser,  24;  Soren  Peterson.  24:  lleinrieh  Schewe,  24; 
William  A.  Robbiiis,  28.  1876— Joseph  I.  Fanar.  26.  1877— Lud- 
M'ig  Lohreiiz,  19;  Adol])h  Lohreiiz,  19;  Michael  Brazel,  2.");  John 
Rice,  35.  1878— Thomas  E.  Richard.  19:  Daniel  Weinkanf.  25; 
John  McLaughlin,  27.  1879— Henry  I'..  I'alnis.  7;  HIislia  (i.  Deiii- 
son,  19;  Nelson  H.  Shafer,  19;  Andrew  Jacolisoii.  '25:  John  (iood- 
iiian,  35:  Charles  H.  Sullivan,  35;  W^illiam  J.  Sullivan,  35.  1880 
—Charles  I).  McKwen.  :!1  ;  Charles  E.  Slieppai'd.  34.  1883— Gib- 
son Richards,  19;  Christian  J.  Skodt,  25;  Kdgar  1).  Kinney,  27; 
Maggie  Hogarty,  27;  Michael  Carrigan.  27:  Maggie  Smart,  31; 
George  Maddock,  .31  ;  (ieorge  W.  Hall,  35,  1882— Bowman  C,  .Me- 
Ewen,  31  :  Howard  L.  McEwen,  31,  188-1 — (ieorge  Bradfonl.  19; 
William  J.  Xewell,  27.     ISS.5 — Hugh  Carrigan,  27. 

Township  113,  range  35  (Beaver  Falls).  The  lirst  claims  on 
this  township  were  tiled  by  Mary  Renville,  April  23,  1861,  section 
12;  Mary  Jlartin.  October  28,  1861,  section  13;  Sojihia  Kenville, 
Ai.ril   23,   1861,  section   22;  Mary  S.  Robertson,  Ai)ril   2:1.    1861, 


102  HISTOKY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

section  22;  Martha  C.  Robertson,  April  1.  1861.  section  27.  1862 
— Isaac  Renville,  20;  ilary  S.  Robertson,  26.  1863 — August  Lin- 
deruian,  7;  John  Meyer,  7;  Nathan  D.  White,  15;  H.  W.  Nelson, 
18;  Terrace  Eisenrich,  26.  1866 — David  Carothers,  18;  Benedict 
June,  26 ;  James  Carothers,  28.  1869— John  H.  White,  11 ;  Walter 
Roe,  26.  1870— George  Bureh.  1 :  Roswell  R.  Corey,  8 ;  Adelbert 
D.  Corey,  8;  Thomas  F.  Marsh,  10;  Henry  Ahrens,  11;  William 
Co^van,  12;  Diederich  Wiehmann,  11  ;  Nathan  D.  White,  18;  Jolm 
Dagen,  24;  Albert  Dagen.  24;  Fwd  Bhuue,  25.  1871— Albert 
Sehafer,  1;  Francis  B.  Hall,  4;  Jane  S.  Greely,  6:  Thomas  H. 
Risinger,  8;  Lycurgus  Hall,  9;  ^Marlow  S.  Spieer,  11;  Henry 
Blume,  13;  John  S.  G.  Ilonner,  19;  Homer  Smith,  21;  Henry 
Carstens,  24.  1872— William  Hall.  4:  Nora  Swift.  10;  Cliris- 
topluir  Burcli,  10;  Russel  Butler,  12;  John  A.  Bush,  18;  Andrew 
Hunter,  23;  John  Arnott,  25.  1873 — Joseph  Rourke,  2;  David 
Ferguson,  2;  Joseph  Carrutii.  2;  Darby  Rourke.  2;  William  Hall, 
4;  Frederick  Ilaviland,  4;  (icorge  W.  Sargent,  4;  William  Beck- 
mann,  6;  Clark  W.  Corey,  6;  Waltci'  Clift,  7;  Jasper  Fisciu-r,  7; 
:\rarlow  S.  Spicer.  10;  Joseph  Kartak,  10;  :\Iik.-  Seheffler,  12; 
Friedcrick  Starch.  12;  William  H.  Davis,  18;  Frederick  H.  Homei- 
er,  24;  Andreas  Pregler.  24.  1874 — Andrew  Sandborn,  4;  Andrew 
Jdliuson,  4;  John  Laijpiii.  24.  1875 — Iosei)li  Zeis.  6;  Myran  C 
Brace,  18.  1H77 — Jonas  Salsbury.  20.  1878 — Jonathan  H.  Bux- 
ton, 10;  Albert  H.  Bisliop,  10;  James  H.  Peters,  18.  1879— Na- 
thaniel Swift,  10.  1880— Bezalul  G.  McKay,  6.  1881— James  H. 
Peters,  18;  Clark  W.  Frink,  18.  1882— Nahum  Stone.  23;  Heirs 
of  Caleb  Rich,  8.  1883 — Lewis  E.  Morse,  2;  Luman  A.  Colson,  21. 
1884 — James  Carruth.  2;  Robert  Arnolt,  25. 

Township  115,  range  34  (Bird  Island).  The  first  claims  filed 
in  this  to\\iishi|i  were  in  1S74:  April  7.  Ls74.  ('harles  Humboldt. 
6;  Decend.ier  23.  1874,  Benjamin  Feeder,  14;  November  10.  \f<~A. 
Marion  Boyer,  28;  October  6,  1874,  Thomas  W.  (fage,  30.  1H7.5— 
Calvin  Boyer,  28.  1876— Jonas  E.  Barker,  8;  James  M.  Bowler, 
24;  Nicholas  O'Brien,  26;  John  Mcintosh.  8.  1878- Ben.iamin 
Feeder,  2;  Jonas  B.  Landiert.  10;  Joseph  Feeder.  14;  John  Nester. 
18;  George  H.  Miller,  18;  Nahum  Tainter,  24;  Joseph  S.  Bowler, 
26;  John  Johnson,  34.  1879 — Selma  Lawdon.  4;  Jerome  Balsley, 
30.  1880— Heirs  of  Edward  Bowler,  2:  Harlow  I).  Jackson.  20; 
James  Curren,  30;  Charles  Huudjoldt,  6.  1881 — John  Engstrom, 
2;  Nettie  C.  Weems,  2;  Alice  L.  Hickcox,  2;  John  J.  Stearns,  4; 
Patrick  Cidly,  10.  1882 — Tohn  Ne.ster,  18;  George  Nester.  30; 
Joseph  Sharbono,  32;  Anthony  Sanger,  34;  Jonas  E.  Barker,  8; 
Joseph  Hanns,  8 ;  Heirs  of  Edward  Bowler,  2.  1883 — Joseph 
Sharbono,  Jr.,  32;  William  Wolft",  20;  William  Morse,  IS;  Dennis 
Deasy,  10;  Selma  Lawdon,  4.  1884 — Byron  H.  Gates,  6;  Jolm 
Engstrom,  12.    1885— Arnold  Jackson.  32. 

Township  116,  range  36  (Crooks).     The  first  claim  was  filed 


HISTOKV  OK  HFANILLE  COUNTY  103 

by  Esten  Backen,  section  8,  in  1872.  1873-  .lolni  .Johnson,  18; 
John  Gist,  30.  1876— Albert  E.  Kinnc,  18.  1877— Anbivy  :\r. 
Knight,  2,  6,  10;  Job  J.  Pratt,  30.  1878— James  McLaren,  4,  G, 
14;  Lewis  P.  Larson,  28;  Edward  C.  Bakan,  28;  Tollef  Olsen,  28; 
James  Mattson,  28;  Jacob  Olsen,  32;  John  Smith,  32.  1879 — Sam- 
uel F.  Ralsen,  26.  1880— Peder  Eberhardtsen,  18;  Charles  B. 
Gordon,  20 ;  George  F.  Mikseh,  26.  1881— Claus  A.  Backen,  18 ; 
Franklin  A.  (iordon,  20;  Albert  Dagen,  24;  Martin  J.  :\rattison, 
26 ;  Lars  L.  Otncs,  34 ;  Hans  S.  Andraa,  34.  1882— Mads  O.  Kul- 
tom,  20;  Halstein  F.  Otos,  34.  1883— Frederick  Shaller,  22;  Mar- 
greth  Sugmyi,  22;  Onlbrand  Chris  Jansen,  28;  John  McKinley, 
32.  1884— Johann  Grabow,  20;  Nils  Tengleson  Grenson,  26.  1885 
— Samming  Karlsen,  28;  Ingebor  J.  Heimdahl,  30;  Henry  S. 
Crooks,  32. 

Township  112,  range  33  (Camp).  The  first  claims  in  this 
township  were  tiled  in  1861  :  William  R.  Laframboise,  22;  Thom- 
as A.  Robertson,  22,  23 ;  George  Gnin,  34.  In  1862  Werner  Boesh 
filed  in  section  22.  No  other  claim  was  filed  until  after  the  Mas- 
sacre. The  first  claim  filed  after  the  Massacre  was  in  1864 — Hen- 
ry Graf,  19 :  William  Smith,  21.  1866— Esek  J.  Lokken,  20 ;  Peter 
Hartman,  33.  1867— Peder  Isaksen,  20;  Ellen  Smith,  21;  Chris- 
tian Schlenysberger,  27.  1869 — Ole  Johnson,  6 ;  Comerick  Moon, 
12:  Thomas  Tweet,  17;  Helleck  Peterson,  20;  Andreas  Schott,  21. 
1870— John  Halvorson,  18:  Thor  L.  Rudy,  18.  1871— Mikkel 
Haka,  5;  Mathias  Johnson,  6;  Andrew  Johnson,  5;  Jorgen  Gu- 
branson,  6;  Henry  Knauf,  9;  Elizabeth  Graf,  18:  Martha  Ander- 
son, 18 ;  Robert  B.  Clark,  36 ;  Nels  Nelson,  36.  1872— Carl  Nelson, 
6;  Mathis  Mathison,  20;  John  Gleason,  36.  1873^James  Smith, 
2 ;  John  Martenson,  4 ;  Andrew  Louisson,  4 ;  John  Zahn,  4 ;  Chris- 
topher Peterson,  6;  Torkel  Tweet,  8;  John  Tweet,  8;  Johan  Ped- 
erson,  10;  Hans  Peterson,  10:  John  Gallaher,  12;  Andrew  M. 
Nilsen,  22;  Sivert  Nilsen,  22;  John  A.  Mathiesen,  35;  Neils  Ol- 
son, 26;  Mathies  0.  Lee,  26,  27;  John  O.  Lee,  26;  Andrew  Ladson, 
26:  Johan  Halin,  27;  Johainia  Gustav  Lottie,  34;  John  J.  Eiiger, 
34.  Ole  O.  Nesburg,  35 ;  Maria  Tesrow,  36.  1874— Antres  Anter- 
son,  4;  Christian  C!hristopherson.  10;  Torge  Torgeson,  10;  Thomas 
Devanah,  12;  Daniel  O'Neil,  12;  Albert  Wiehr,  13;  Amund  A. 
Berger,  13:  John  Gannon,  13;  Thomas  Horan,  14;  William  Foley, 
14;  Peder  Pederson.  20;  Andrew  0.  Hatlestad,  22;  Nelse  0.  Berge, 
23;  Mathies  O.  Ilagestad,  23;  Charles  Skuttle,  23;  Laurits  H. 
Rund,  24:  Erik  G.  Melvold,  24;  Hans  C.  Gresraaen,  24;  John  Ol- 
son, 24;  Halvor  Hanson,  25:  Gilbert  Olson,  25;  Louis  Pederson, 
25.  1875— Patrick  Campbell,  2;  Patrick  Jordan,  2;  Jens  Olson, 
14.  1876— James  Maxwell,  2.  1877— Knud  Ellisscn.  14.  1880- 
Louis  J.  Enger,  25.  1881— Margaret  Foley,  14;  Ole  .).  Dale,  23; 
Anders  IL  Bergley,  26;  Peder  Nelson,  27;  Ole  Jaeobsen  Stensven, 
35..    1882— Petter  (  nmd.Tson,  13. 


104  HISTORY  OF  REXMLLE  COl'xXTY 

Township  112,  range  32  (Cairo).  The  first  claims  in  this 
towiishiji  Avi'i-c  fiU'd  by  ]\lai-y  Munifiird,  section  31,  on  December 
17,  1861;  by  Adam  S.  Cristman  on  October  17.  1861,  section  32; 
and  Peter  Laball,  section  31,  on  April  30,  1861.  1863— Agatha 
Buelirer  (Bueho?  Buehro?),  22,  23.  1864— Baptiste  Freynur,  31. 
1866— William  Mills,  34  and  3.5.  1869— Adam  Rieke,  35."  1870— 
Merritt  J.  Haines.  10;  Abram  Culver,  14;  Rensselaer  Barton,  20; 
George  Rieke,  26.  1871 — Gartiner  Tibbits,  10;  ('has.  A.  Grow, 
10;  Victor  Rieke,  26;  William  Riekt>,  26;  -loseph  Lebaron.  2S : 
Samuel  Marsh,  28;  Anos  G.  Root,  29.  32;  Wm.  O.  Root.  32;  Len- 
nigs  W.  Root,  32.  1872— William  Emerick,  10;  Mason  Philips, 
18;  Jay  n.  Philips,  18;  Squire  Lamphier,  18:  Trial  Tibbits.  28: 
August  Rieke,  34.  1873 — Amos  Rolfe,  4;  John  ("arson,  4:  James 
(3"Hara,  6:  Alonzo  R.  Gleason,  12;  Harrison  Hatlley,  12;  Taliesin 
Williams,  14;  Torkel  Eveusen,  18;  Hans  Evensen,  19:  Zuirglius 
B.  Pierce,  19;  Christian  Vogt,  20;  Miranda  Staats.  22:  Chas.  S. 
Knapp,  28;  Marshall  Vincent,  29:  Miles  P.  Clark,  31:  Daniel  M. 
Hall,  32;  Frederick  W.  Dieckmeier.  34.  1874 — Justus  K.  Dem- 
ing,  2;  Thomas  Greer,  4;  Susan  J.  Dodge,  4:  Walter  (_'avin,  6: 
Henry  W.  Dodge,  8;  James  Drake,  14:  Andr-ew  Tlioini)son.  19: 
Casper  Hansen,  19;  Datis  Rector,  20;  Thonms  (Jlsi-n.  20:  Chas. 
H.  Nixon,  22:  George  R.  Orcult,  29;  Marcus  M.  Biuk.  29;  Ole 
Olsen,  29;  Jakob  Pederson,  30;  Olai  Nilson,  30;  Nelson  S.  Read, 
30;  Martin  Jenson,  30.  1875 — Hugh  Cai-son.  6:  Ednioud  () Tiara. 
8;  Nils  Peterson.  8;  Sophia  Bengston,  12;  Hernum  Reinke,  24: 
Hughgo  Worthington,  24:  Wilh.dm  Sell,  24.  1876— Carl  Bleck. 
2;  Rudolph  Paschke,  2;  John  N.  Palmer,  2:  Chas.  Dieter.  12: 
^Marguerite  Hopi>er,  22;  Otto  Kiecker,  24.  1877 — James  O  Ilara. 
6.  1878— August  Bleek,  2;  John  Welch,  8;  t^^eorge  F.  Thane,  14. 
1879— John  Hanson.  2.  1881— Adam  S.  Cristman,  32:  Mary  'SI. 
Hopkins,  34.  1883— Daniel  O'Xi'il.  6.  1884 — Fi-edrrhdv  Strw- 
art,  31. 

Township  115,  range  36  (Emmet).  The  first  claim  was  filed 
1872  by  George  Ott  section  30.  1873 — Loana  0  'Brien.  8 ;  Francis 
M.  Crawford,  18;  Luuneaus  M.  Williams,  18;  Nelson  W.  Brooks, 
18;  George  D.  Wilcox,  20;  Griffith  S.  Williams,  22;  General  L. 
Dodge,  28,  30;  Samuel  Burnell,  28;  James  P.  Okius,  32;  Everett 
Wadsworth,  32 ;  Loren  A.  Brooks,  32.  1874— Thomas  Foster,  8 : 
Johnston  Lowrey,  24.  1875 — John  Dunican,  32 ;  ilary  Schultz, 
34.  1876 — Adolph  Bierman,  6;  Gunder  Johnson  Lee,  10:  Deidrick 
Brummer,  20;  Charles  Pickthorn,  20;  Carl  Kauuenburg,  26. 
1877— Ole  Hanson,  4;  John  W.  Wiley,  18;  Henrick  Freudenthal, 
20;  John  Garvay,  22;  Patrick  Coulahan,  28;  Catharine  Dunican, 
32.  1878— Charles  Rathboue,  4;  Peder  Johnson,  4;  John  L. 
O'Brien,  6;  John  Cole,  8;  Ole  Siminson,  10;  Wilhelm  Zachou, 
12 ;  Dorotha  Naeke,  14 ;  Carl  Hannemann,  26 ;  Henrietta  Ros- 
child,  26;  Albert  Roschild,  26.     1879— John  Gunderson  Lee,  10; 


niSTOin'  OF  HFAVII.LK  COUNTY  105 

Fredei-ifk  Standfurt,  14;  William  Yock,  14;  Julius  Di-n/in,  14; 
August  Kaatz,  14;  Sven  Sainuclson  Ostjiardcn.  18:  Ellen  A.  Mul- 
downcy,  20;  Potcr  Foxhbveu,  20;  (lottli.'l)  Schindi'l,  24.  1880— 
Michael  Schiudcl,  2 ;  Alfred  Syuu's,  ti ;  George  Beiinison,  6 ; 
Carles  Zaehou,  12;  Ilopley  K.  Tibbitts.  18;  Ilowai-d  M.  Tibbitts, 
18;  John  Warner,  22:  Frederiek  Kraniiii,  24:  James  Daly,  28; 
William  Powers,  :i2  :  Johaiin  Sriiiiiidt,  :i4  ;  John  .I.-ns.  34.  1881 
— David  Benson,  6;  I'etter  Pederson,  8;  Ferdinand  Droheim,  12; 
Paul  llussock,  22.  1882— Frederiek  Wieland.  2:  Frederiek  Lenz, 
10;  Carles  Hagedurn,  12:  Carl  Keetz,  22;  Timothy  :\luldo\vuey, 
28 ;  Gottfried  Grabou.  28  ;  Hans  Hottge,  :5().  1883— Keiner  Mickel- 
sou,  4;  Wilhelmina  Zaehou,  12;  Joseph  Hraniek.  34.  1884 — Ilans 
Hogcnsou  Nes,  10:  James  Foster,  20;  Robert  .Mid\inl(y,  22.  1885— 
Carl  Carlson.  4:  Frederiek  W,  Kottke.  24:  Ki-edrriek  I'.iitiiihofT, 
26;  Bart  hold  Brnmmer,  30. 

Township  116,  range  37  (Erickson).  The  first  elaims  in  this 
township  wei-e  tiled  b.v  Paul  Killi  on  .May  21,  1873,  section  20; 
by  Tolef  Torgerson,  July  12,  1873,  section  22;  by  Anton  O. 
Gerde,  June  7,  1873,  section  28;  by  .Marten  P.  Dustrudr.  Jiiiir  10. 
1873,  section  28;  by  Hans  Ijarsen,  Septeudjer  17,  1873,  section  30; 
by  Peter  Hansou,  .May  24,  1873,  section  32.  1874 — .Magloiie  Kobi- 
douz.  24.  187o— Ole  Hansen,  32.  1.S77— Aid)rey  M.  Knipht,  2; 
James  IF.  Wilson.  S;  Oh'  Krederickson.  34.  l.'^78 — James 
I\I(djaren.  2:  l)a\id  L.  llowr,  A:  Fi-ans  Kngbretson.  20;  Peder  0. 
Gerde,  20:  her  Hanson.  2S  ;  .lohn  Sc-\-ers(in.  2S ;  I'eter  Peterson, 
28:  Ole  Johansen.  30:  Hans  Larseii,  30;  I'eiler  O.  Dos- 
seth.  30:  Ilalvor  II.  Skonberg,  32:  Il.'iiry  Paulson,  32; 
Kagnild  Wolstad,  32;  P<'ter  (Inlbi'aiKlseii,  32:  Kaicn  O. 
Kolberg,  34.  1879 — Ole  Ilelgeson  l''yre.  Is:  Hans  Han- 
sou, 22;  Christian  Chi-istolferson.  22;  .Martin  .iacobscn,  22; 
Lars  0.  Milsteii.  22;  Ivei-  Thompson.  22;  ('hi-istian  K\cnson,  2(i : 
Peder  Flanvicn,  26;  Ole  <!.  Kuestang,  26;  Anders  Ciulbrandsen, 
26;  Charles  O.  (ierde,  2.S ;  Kli  Kriekseu,  30;  Iver  Ol.sen,  30;  Kber- 
hart  Pederson,  34;  Ole  Olson,  34.  1880 — Georgia  L.  \'olengen, 
18;  Severt  Oleson,  18;  Erick  0.  Jerdee,  20;  Glef  Cliristianson,  34. 
1881 — Andrew  Erickson,  14:  Alphonse  Gaii'd.  24;  Gabriel 
Osnuuulson,  26.  1882 — lohn  Hanson  Sin'ljint;'.  14:  Tosfen  H. 
Wolstad,  14;  Krick  Hanson,  14;  .Anders  A.  Skjefte,  l^:  Anders 
Lerohl,  18;  Christian  Christotfei'sou,  22;  John  Bi'edeson,  22; 
Louis  G.  Brisbois,  24;  Johan  S.  Olcsen,  26.  1884 — Peter  Sever- 
.sen,  28;  Charh's  Gerde  2S.     18S.-.— Finger  L.  Strand.  14. 

Township  114,  range  36  (Flora).  The  first  claim  in  this  town- 
ship Avas  filed  on  \o\-eiiiber  6,  1861,  by  Fii'ilrieli  Stolz  in  section 
3o.  No  other  claim  was  filetl  until  after  the  nuxssacre.  The  first 
claims  after  the  nuissacre  wer<'  filed  in  1864:  Conrad  Becker, 
18;  Michael  Gess,  18;  heirs  of  Paul  Kitzman,  If);  Henry  Dryer, 
35.     1865— William  Inualls,  22.     ISIKI      .Anna   Lassen.  33.     1867— 


106  IIISTOKV   OJ-'   KK.WILLE  COrXTY 

James  W.  Graves,  7,  18.  18(39— Edward  T.  Tillotsoii,  19,  '20.  1872 
— Robert  W.  Davis,  30 ;  Henry  Engermau,  32 ;  Henry  Tinuis,  33, 
34;  Bert  Nichols,  34.  1873— L.  M.  Williams,  6;  George  D.  Wil- 
cox, 6;  Francis  Crawford,  6;  John  Miller,  8;  John  Larkin,  18; 
Hannah  Williams,  18;  Griffith  S.  Williams,  20;  William  Sperber, 

26,  36;  Christian  Sperber,  34.  1874- William  Jansen,  14:  Peter 
Benger,  20;  Carles  Beckendorf,  20;  John  Beekeudorf,  20;  Erail 
Framm,  24;  Joachim  Ahrendt,  24;  Joseph  Fisher,  28;  Christian 
Schafer,  28.  1875— David  Brown,  8;  Oscar  J.  Shipley,  12;  Gus- 
tavus  Wanger,  14;  Philip  Williams,  18;  Margaret  Bean,  20:  Louis 
Schafer,  28.  1876— John  O'Brien,  8;  James  O'Brien.  8;  Ferdi- 
nand Di-oheim,  8;  Angu.st  Uhlig,  22;  Fred  Stencamp,  22;  Herman 
H.  Hachman,  22;  John  Ahrendt,  24;  Friedrich  Schmidt.  24; 
Heinnieh  Knek,  34.  1877 — ]\Iatthias  Duniean,  4;  Fritz  Buck- 
holtz,  14;  Henry  Thompson.  18;  George  il.  Frey,  20;  John  Fos- 
ter, 22;  William  Prodohl,  22;  Charles  Strong,  27.  1878— Bridget 
Duuican,  4;  Elias  Scott,  7;  Ferdinand  Beltz,  8;  James  H.  Mur- 
phy. 10;  William  Pfaender.  19;  Theodore  Sehoning,  24;  Fred- 
erick Fritz,  26;  Julius  Brielkrenz,  28.  1880— Thaddeus  S.  Hatth- 
away,  22;  Emil  Sehoning,  24;  Henry  Schafer,  24;  James  J.  Chris- 
tie, 26 ;  Leopold  Wohlman,  28.  1882 — Augu.st  Rauschke,  2  ;  Johan 
Grabow,  10.  1883— Thomas  Lowrey,  2:  Charles  Schaffer,  19. 
1884— Carl  Laske,  4;  John  Foster.  27. 

Township  113,  range  36  (Flora).  The  first  claims  in  this  town- 
ship were  filetl  by  Spencer  La  Croix  on  February  1,  1861,  sections 
2  and  3,  and  by  Lilia  La  Croix  on  February  1,  1861.  sections  2 
and  3.  The  first  claim  after  the  Massacre  was  tiled  by  Adam 
Pfeiffer  on  July  29,  1864,  sections  1  and  12'.  186.5— Heirs  of 
Wilhelm  Schmidt,  2;  Charles  Lauer,  Jr..  12.  1866— John 
Schaef er,  1 ;  Catharine  Falkel,  2 ;  Anna  Lassau,  4 ;  Carl  vSimondet, 
12;  John  A.  Hack,  13.  1868— Louis  Thiele,  1,  12.  1869— Hiram 
Rich,  12 ;  Caroline  Jefferson.  12.  1870 — Caroline  Jefferson,  12. 
1872 — Francis  Shoemaker,  1,  2;  James  Ctaffney,  3.  1873 — Andrew 
Brandon.  2.  1875— Joseph  Brown,  1.  1876— John  IMcIntosh,  2. 
1879— John  Schaefer,  1.     1880— Celia  McCormiek.  12. 

Tow^nship  115,  range  38  (Hawk  Creek).  The  first  claim  in 
tliis  townsliii)  was  filed  on  November  29,  1861,  by  Joseph  Schaffer 
in  section  16.  He  came  back  and  secured  land  in  section  21  in 
1869.  No  other  claim  was  filed  until  after  the  Massacre.  The 
first  claims  after  the  Massacre  wei'e  filed  in  1867 ;  Antoine 
Young,  28.  1868- Louis  Kope.  21.  1869 — Joseph  Marseh.  21 
22,  27;  Maglidore  Robideaux,  27.  1870 — Christian  Oleson,  5; 
Olavies  Hanson,  19 ;  Peter  Castiue,  35.  1871 — Benjamin  F. 
Ingalls,  18 ;  Hans  Thorsen,  18,  19 ;  Ole  Olson,  26 ;  Holston  IL  Otos, 

27,  34,  35 ;  Louis  G.  Brisbois,  35.  1872— Isaac  S.  Earl,  20.  1873— 
Fredrick  W.  Brash,  8;  Peder  Simonsen,  8;  John  Christofersen, 
14;  Mons  Anderson,  14;  Thorwald  Hansen,  18;  Knudt  T.  Rud,  20; 


HISTORY  OF  KKWILLE  COUNTY  107 

Lewis  Kope,  20;  Halver  Halverson,  22;  Hans  Hansen,  22;  Ole 
Evenson.  22;  Halsten  H.  Otis,  22;  Halver  Halgerson,  24:  Peter 
Eriekson,  24;  Andreas  Anderson,  26.  1874— Lars  Heudriekson, 
2;  Hendrick  Anderson,  2;  John  Hendrickson,  2;  Olof  Eriekson, 
2;  Hendrick  Eriekson,  2;  Simon  Johnson.  4;  Paul  C.  Peterson, 
4;  Benjamin  X.  H.joraa,  4:  heirs  of  Toilet  .lolinson,  4;  Carl 
Jansson,  6;  Magnus  Anderson,  6;  Haagan  Olson  Agrc,  10;  Peter 
C.  Peterson,  10;  Karenus  Olson  Agre,  10;  Nils  Johnson,  10;  Henry 
Henrickson,  12;  Adam  Jacohson,  14;  John  Lot',  14;  John  liing- 
berg,  14;  Lars  Johnson,  14;  Elias  Eriekson,  14;  Peter  Young,  18; 
Hans  Christian  Christianson,  22;  Nils  Olson,  24;  Ole  Hendrickson, 
24;  Bertha  Stener  Jensen,  2G;  Anders  Berg,  26.  1875— Peter  C. 
Peterson,  4;  Hans  Berge,  4;  Erick  Pederson,  4;  Samuel  A.  Nord- 
strom, 6 ;  Elias  M.  Lindquist,  6 ;  Edward  Mattison,  6 ;  Ever  Matti- 
son,  6;  Phebe  A.  Stowe,  8;  Green  R.  Midford,  8;  Ole  Mathiasson, 
10;  H.  Hendrick  Skoybei'g,  10;  Paul  Gudbranson,  10:  George 
Bachman,  20;  Bernt  Hogensen,  24;  Helge  H.  Goodlie.  24;  Kettel 
0.  Bergan,  26.  1876— Harry  Oleson,  24;  Hendrick  Eliasson,  24. 
1877 — Andrew  Carlsson,  12;  Andrew  Hendrickson,  12;  Johana 
Hansen,  22.  1878— Engebret  Hansen,  8  ;  Nels  Elf  son,  8  ;  Ole  Garst- 
son,  12;  Gutaf  Oleson,  12;  Melker  Egborn,  12;  Andrew  C.  Hansen, 
Ti;  Ai-iit  .l(ili;iii  Arntseii,  12;  Thomas  Sturm,  20.  I,s7!)— Nils 
Henrickson,  2;  Anders  (i.  Rude,  2;  Henry  Wilson.  5;  Peder 
Simonsen,  8;  Christian  Fredrickson,  18;  Johanna  Behnert,  20; 
Ole  P.  Olson,  26.  1880— Nils  Anderson,  10;  Joseph  Meyer,  17; 
Hans  Hansen,  22.  1882— Christopher  Hanson,  18.  1SS4— Peter  J. 
Myre,  1 ;  Anders  G.  Rund,  1  ;  Halver  Gregerson,  15;  Ole  Aslaksen 
Idegarden,  25. 

Township  114,  range  38  (Hawk  Creek).  The  first  claims  in 
this  lownsliip  wt-n-  filed  on  July  20,  1,S68,  by  Francis  Stay  in 
section  1  and  by  David  Carpenter  in  sections  1  and  2,  November 
9.  1868.  1870— Peter  Castine.  2.  1871— Lewis  G.  Brisbois,  2. 
1879— Paul  Peterson,  1.  12. 

Township  115,  rang-e  32  (Hector).  The  first  claim  was  filed  in 
187.J  by  Elijah  Houek  in  section  2.  1874 — Charles  A.  Hamiseh, 
30.  1875— Morris  P..  Foster,  26.  1876— John  J.  Clarkby,  2;  Ilen- 
drik  J.  BloemrudMl,  .34.  1877 — Augustus  Brandt,  30;  Julian  S. 
Rowley,  82;  James  C.  Edson,  34.  1878— Allen  Parks,  2;  Jolin 
Baker,  2;  Sauniel  S.  Kline,  4;  Flauel  N.  Baker,  10;  Oscar  II. 
Baker.  14:  .lolm  H.  Butler,  20.  1879— Thaddeus  S.  Benson,  10; 
Charles  II.  Lamphier,  28:  Cleveland  T.  Hall.  32.  1880- William 
H.  Graham,  2;  James  Cummings,  10;  Lawrence  Doyle,  18;  Wil- 
liams E.  Perkins,  30.  1881— Henry  W.  Hall,  8 ;  Kjel  Olson,  18 ; 
Franz  Adolph  Green,  20;  Gcoi-ge  W.  Leasman,  22;  Peter  Prelvitz, 
26;  August  Prelvitz,  26.  1882— Chancy  Robbins,  2;  Joseph 
Harris,  18 ;  Samuel  U.  Hatten,  18 ;  William  C.  White,  22 ;  Charles 
Leasman,    24.     1883- Gustav   Wolff.    18:   James   C.    Ed.son,    34. 


108  UISTOKV  OF  RENVILLE  COIXTV 

18.S4 — Sauiucl  Leighty.  (j ;  Joliii  B.  Perkins,  :{() :  (iiist.-ivns  (J. 
•Schmalz.  '.i'2. 

Township  114,  range  35  (HenryvOle).  The  first  claims  in  this 
township  were  tlleil  by  James  S.  ('hiipiiian  on  August  18,  1869, 
section  34;  and  James  W.  Butler  on  November  5,  1869.  section  35. 
1870 — Thomas  Barkey.  34;  Oscar  Hodgson,  34.  1871 — (ieorge 
Nicholson,  23;  James  O'Neil,  26;  James  O'Neil.  Jr..  27:  Kobeit 
Nicholson,  27;  Carl  Haltz,  33;  John  O'Neil.  2(i.  1872— David  E. 
Smith.  30:  Ileni'y  J.  Seely,  32.  1873 — lohii  J.  Schoregge.  2; 
Jacob  Kri'll.  IS;  John  Swoboda,  IS.  28;  .lolm  Nicholson.  23; 
Patrick  Barkey,  27;  Friend  S.  Kinney,  3(J ;  Wenzel  Swoboda, 
32;  Joseph  Kartak.  32.  1874 — John  Morgan,  12;  Anthony  Far- 
rell,  24;  Joseph  ('.  :More.  .■!2.  1875— Miles  Sheerin.  6;  Patrick 
O'Neil,  22;  Dennis  ilorris,  22;  Anthony  Garrity,  22:  ilichael 
Holden,  2G:  James  Ilolden,  26;  Thomas  Nemitz,  28;  Joseph  Shari>, 
32;  Elijah  E.  Comstock,  32;  William  O'Neil,  34;  heirs  of  Charles 
O'Neil  (deceased),  34.  1876 — John  Morgan.  12;  George  J.  Nich- 
olson, 23;  George  i;r<)\\ii.  24;  Frank  .M.  Carlson,  30.  1877 — Gns- 
tavus  McClure.  30;  John  Kelly.  22;  James  Barkey.  22;  Anna  W. 
Casey,  28.  1878 — lohn  J.  Schoregge.  2;  Henry  Schoregge,  10; 
August  Zaske,  18;  [Michael  (ioliliish,  22.  1879 — Heirs  of  Barney 
Cunningham.  24;  James  ('.  Doyle.  30.  1880 — Owen  Heany,  14; 
ilichael  Hean>-.  14.  1881 — Lawi-enee  Hctuda.  21;  James  Barkey. 
22.  1883— Mai-y  Dwoishak,  4:  Frank  Boiida.  4.  18,s4 — Tohn  T. 
Kelly,  24;  :\Iicliael  Gari-ity,  24:  Joseph  Zeta,  33.  188.',— Willielm 
Kuglin.  20;  Jonas  J.  P.iekel.  20;  Fi-ed  IIopp.  20. 

Township  116,  range  34  (Kingman).  The  tiist  claim  in  this 
township  was  tile(l  by  C.  H.  Pettit  August  2,  1866.  section  25. 
1869— F.  1).  Hunt.  2;  (Jeorge  1^.  Wright.  6,  8.  14,  20;  Dudley  K. 
Johnson.  22.  1877— Aubrey  .\1.  Knight,  6.  10;  isaai-  :\Iar.\.  24. 
1878 — James  ilcLaren.  14,  22;  Henry  N.  Jones.  20;  Erastus  Foueh. 
26;  John  Pfeiffer,  30;  Sullivan  Adams  (guardian),  34.  1880— 
Wallace  M.  Holbrook,  24.  1881— Setli  T.  Salter.  2(J.  ls,s2— Adel- 
bert  N.  Wilson,  20;  Isaac  B.  Porter,  24.  1883.— David  Coons,  20; 
David  Guptil,  30;  John  Brooten,  •')2.  1884 — Sanuiel  Anderson,  4; 
John  Pfeiffer,  30;  Sullivan  Adams,  34. 

Township  115,  range  33  (Melville).  The  first  claim  was  filed 
in  this  to\\'iishi|)  on  Deceinljer  22.  187(1.  by  Jauu'S  il.  Bowler,  in 
section  18.  1877 — Ferdinand  Steffeii,  18.  1878 — Jessie  S.  liean. 
4;  Charles  E.  :\Iattison.  18;  Newton  G.  Poor.  18;  Doia  J.  Califf. 
18;  Anion  McMullen,  32.  1879— George  H.  Megquiei-.  6.  1880— 
Lehn  Hinds,  4;  Noniian  lli(kok,  8;  George  H.  Raitz.  24.  1881 — 
Henry  Hii)|)le.  6;  .Matthew  S.  Rou.se.  10;  Philip  Kirchiier.  20; 
Ferdinand  Wolfi',  20;  llerinund  (tlson.  20;  Fi'aiik  Garske.  26; 
Peter  0.  IIoagste<i.  28;  Ansmeii  O.  Hoagsted.  34.  1882— Jo.seph 
Daily,  12 ;  Sweiiy  L.  Tiiines,  32.  1883- Edwin  W.  Wolif.  8 ;  Edwin 
B.  Wolff,  32;  Ole  0.  Evenseii,  34.     1884— Harriet  G.  ilegquier,  6; 


HISTORY  OF  KENVILLE  COUNTY  109 

heirs  of  Sarali  L.  Tillotsoii,  6;  Henry  Hedtka,  14;  Jacob  Wit'hl, 
14.     ISS.'i — Aixlrcw  \'ikiiiL's()ii,  )!0:   Alrxaiiilcr  Aiuifrson,  30. 

Township  114,  range  32  (Martinsburg) .  The  first  claims  in 
this  township  were  filed  July  2,  187.!,  by  William  Chalk  in  sec- 
tion 20.  and  by  Thomas  Torbcnson  in  section  18,  October  21, 
1873.  1874 — Winfield  S.  Jones,  10.  1875 — James  Smith,  28. 
1876— Friedrick  Schwarz,  24.  1877— Henry  Boland,  22.  1878— 
John  M.  Anderson,  IS;  Oliver  L.  Fellows,  30;  James  Hanna,  32. 
1S79— Johannes  Borieson,  30.  1880--William  Brown,  28.  1881 
— Samuel  Gilbertson,  6;  Eli  Stone,  8;  Luna  W.  Benson,  14;  John 
W.  Bartel.  14;  William  Callahan.  14;  Martin  Mathison,  18;  Hal- 
fuerd  Olson,  20;  Joiianiies  Arneson,  20;  John  B.  Mahon,  22; 
Ferdinand  Marquardt.  2(i :  Fanner  Dodge,  26.  1882— Gilford  M. 
Nelson.  12:  George  Painter,  12;  James  Tompkins,  30.  1883— 
Albert  Painter,  2;  Henry  Kolder,  4;  Sven  Pernson,  10;  Kasper 
Macheldt,  24;  Eugene  I.  Dodge,  26;  Owen  H.  Rodgers,  34. 
1884 — Jose]ih  Aimstrong,  12;  Smith  Dewers,  14;  August 
Krieger.  2(i. 

Township  114,  range  34  (Norfolk).  The  first  claim  in  this 
townsliip  was  filed  on  October  7,  1870,  by  James  0.  Toole,  in  sec- 
tion 26.  1S72— Peter  St.  Denis,  18.  1873— John  W.  Perry,  10; 
Darby  Rourk,  10 ;  John  H.  Brooks,  14 ;  Samuel  D.  Childs,  26,  34 ; 
Adelmer  Price,  28;  Michael  Gleason,  28;  Charles  H.  Sherwood, 
30,  34;  Silas  Brooks,  32.  1874— Jerome  P.  Patten,  4;  Edward  M. 
Jurin.  4 :  Libbens  White,  6 ;  August  St.  Denis,  18 ;  Levi  E.  Sher- 
wood, 22:  Edward  INfahoney,  32.  1875— Calvin  G.  Hallock,  2; 
Aldin  Hassan,  8;  George  D.  Inghram,  20;  James  Murphy,  34. 
1876 — James  White,  6 ;  Reinhold  Hummel,  6 ;  Hiram  S.  Culver, 
6;  :\richael  Maloney,  18;  Orange  F.  Warner,  20;  William  H. 
Anderson.  28.  1877 — Francis  Wadenspanner,  2;  Rose  Connelly, 
12;  Milton  Nelson,  14;  Peter  Henry  24;  John  Stone,  34;  Charles 
Bowler,  34.  1878 — Paul  Revier,  26 ;  .James  Powers,  26 ;  Dennis 
Murphy,  28;  Elbert  W.  VanOruam,  30;  William  F.  Bowler,  34. 
1879— William  Kennedy,  18;  John  Hogan,  28;  Philip  Ryan,  80. 
1880— Timothy  Kennedy,  28;  Ebenezer  Cuf!*,  30.  1881— August 
Fernkas,  12.  1882— Waldo  Goodell,  14.  1883— Joseph  A.  May, 
8 ;  Martin  Stephens,  30 ;  Thomas  Butterly,  32.  1884 — Peter  Hur- 
ley, 24.  1885— Christ  Boehme,  10:  Jolin  Hurley,  24;  Thomas 
Brady.  32;  Alois  Keindl,  22. 

Township  116,  range  33  (Osceola).  The  first  claims  were 
filed  in  1865.  William  J.  Foster,  section  27,  28;  Thomas  Dryden, 
33  and  34.  1866— C.  H.  Pettit,  13,  15,  17,  19,  23 ;  William  Pettit, 
19,  21,  25;  James  A.  Beaver,  20;  James  A.  Beaver,  26,  27.  1867 
— Aurelius  Foss,  6;  Gertrude  Rank,  10.  1868 — William  Dawson, 
10;  Vincent  D.  Walsh,  14.  1871— Charles  0.  Peter,  8;  John  S. 
Judd,  12.  1873— Ai  Laflin,  2;  Jeremiah  S.  Lillie,  4;  Franklin 
Beibe,  12.     1876— Charles  M.  Stevens,  2;  Henry  J.  Stevens,  4; 


110  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

James  Luc-as,  Jr.,  22:  ilichael  Farreil,  24;  James  T.  Liieas.  Sr., 
32 ;  Albertiue  Wolf,  34.  1877— Charles  P.  Barnard,  8 ;  Micliaella 
de  Armes  Dueras.  8 ;  Lucretia  F.  Barrett,  8 ;  James  Rineliart,  22 ; 
Elam  L.  Ferry,  30;  Charles  H.  Ferry,  30.  1878— James  McLareu, 
2,  4;  Luther  Daily,  22:  Benjamin  F.  Lindsley,  24;  William  Fulton, 
24;  Hamlin  V.  Poor,  30.  1879— Melville  A.  Slawson,  18.  1882— 
James  A.  Thoin,  10;  William  T.  Bower,  32.  1883— Thomas  Mar- 
shall, 22.  1884— John  A.  Vick,  6;  James  M.  Hibbard,  28.  1885— 
Charles  Kenning,  18 ;  Francis  M.  Daily,  34. 

Township  115,  range  31  (Preston  Lake).     The  first  claims  in 
this  township  were  hied  in  the  years  is.jlj  and  1857.     October  3, 
1856.  section  3,  S.  T.  Darby:  October  3,  1856,  section  11,  J.  A. 
Michael;  October  3.  1856,  sections  14,  15,  H.  L.  Benson;  November 
6,  1857,  sections  9,  10,  Solomon  IMorrow.    1862 — Lavinia  Engle,  4. 
The  first  claims  taken  after  the  massacre  were  in  1864 :     Oliver 
S.  Mnnsell,  25,  26;  Simon  P.  Sowers,  26;  Beu.iamin  C.  Smith,  27; 
Aaron  R.  Sowers,  27 :  Thomas  J.  Smith,  27,  28.    1865— J.  E.  and 
H.   Thompson,   1,   2:  Franklin  J.   Warren,   2;   David   Alway,   9; 
Helen  E.  Savage,  10,  15 ;  Philip  Shaw,  12 ;  William  A.  Herring, 
12;  Robert  Alway,   12;  William  Rosser,  21:  Miriam  C.  Simons, 
22 ;  Betsy  Miller,'  24 ;  Oliver  S.  Mnnsell,  25.    1866— John  B.  Down- 
eraud,  1,  6 ;  William  S.  Jackson,  1,  6 ;  Albert  W.  Drake,  2 ;  Emma 
L.  ]Mnnsell,  5,  6,  19 ;  James  0.  Hatch,  5,  6,  8,  17 ;  Hiram  H.  Davis, 
7;  C.  W.  Mnnsell,  8,  17,  29:  Thomas  M.  Martin,  13;  Lorenzo  D. 
Gilbert,  15;  James  H.  Pennell,  18,  19,  31;  Levi  H.  Bartlett,  21, 
22,  28 ;  James  P.  Dimmet,  21 ;  Frank  C.  Griswold,  24 ;  John  L. 
Root,   30;  W.  H.  Richardson,   35.     1867— Amanda   Green,   2,   3; 
Thomas  E.  Chilson,  4,  9;  David  Chilson,  9,  10.    1870— William  A, 
Herring,  11;  Minerva  WaiTen,  15;  Mary  Kearn,  9.    1871 — Robert 
Alway,    8:    William   Rosser,    14;    Ansel    A.    Lyman.   22.      1872— 
Ansel  A.  Lyman,  22.    1873 — George  W.  Hall,  2;  George  Maddock, 
6:  William  W.  Padden,  12;  Eli.jah  Honek,  14;  George  Reeks,  15; 
Levi  IL  Bartlett,  28 ;  Michael  Engcl,  30 ;  John  E.  Jones,  32.    1874 
— James  A.  Washburn,  4:  Lyman  Carr,  14;  Henry  F.  Bartlett, 
22.     1875— Allison  Houck,  14;  William  Brickey,  18;  Amos  B.  C. 
Douglass,  30.     1876— Francis  Maddock,  8;  Henry  L.  Hawes,  24; 
Gilbert    H.    Hawes,    24;    Curtis    Rowen,    30.      1877— George    W. 
Braley,  10;  John  Borden,  20;  Eldridge  E.  Champlin,  24;  Charles 
W.  Zarnkee,  30.     1878— James  McLaughlin.  34;  Sylvanus  H.  Kel- 
log,  14.     1879— Mons  Monson,  30;  Erastus  Jenkins,  13.     1880— 
William  Matzdorf,  20.    1883— John  L.  Kelderhouse,  32;  Sarah  E. 
Robinson,  32 ;  Frederick  Gerber,  18 ;  John  E.  Lewis,  18. 

Township  114,  range  33  (Palm3rra).  The  first  claims  in  tliis 
townsJiip  were  filed  in  1873  by  Tliomas  Dougherty  in  section  18; 
Bringel  Tollifson  in  section  4,  and  John  King  in  section  32.  1874 
— David  L.  Green,  32.  1875 — Aubin  Tollifson,  4;  Nels  Ericson, 
4;  Eric  Ericson.  8.     1876 — Ammon  Tollifson.  10;  Solomon  Berg- 


IIlSTOin'  OK   RKX\II,LK  CorXTV  111 

man,  22 ;  Gustaf  Anderson,  24 ;  Per  Anderson,  24 ;  Karl  Anderson, 
24;  George  Carney,  32;  Jolni  B.  Anderson,  34;  Andrew  Jorgon- 
son,  34.  1877 — Lewis  J.  Tinnes,  6;  Sven  Iverson  Gjerald,  12; 
Anton  Christianson,  14;  Alexander  Johansen,  14;  Ole  A.  Erick- 
son,  14;  Torkild  Gronnerud,  20;  .Tohaiies  Eriksou,  20;  Carl  ITokan- 
son,  22;  Swen  Alil,  22;  Anton  F.  Jensen,  24;  Johan  B.  Joluuison, 
26;  John  Anderson,  26;  Andrew  Larson,  26;  Denis  Lordan,  32. 
1878— Lafe  Lavcssoii,  8;  Gilbert  Matheson,  12;  John  Pederson, 
20;  John  iMagnus  Blad,  22;  Analina  Anderson,  34.  1879 — Ole 
Knutson,  22 ;  Torris  Jaeobson,  22 ;  Nelson  Reed,  28.  1880— Peter 
Erickson,  18;  John  F.  Johnson,  24.  1881— Stork  Eriekson,  8; 
Carl  A.  Mork,  10;  Peter  Erieson,  18;  John  A.  Johnson,  26;  Ole 
Halverson,  30.  1882 — Elias  M.  Erieson,  14 ;  Lorens  Erickson,  20 ; 
John  Oleson,  30;  Christopher  Danielson,  32.  1883— John  Peder- 
son, 12;  Christian  Jolmson,  30.  1884 — Ole  Tinnes,  6.  1885— Ole 
C.  Nordskog,  18. 

Township  115,  range  37  (Sacred  Heart).  Tlic  first  claiin  in 
tills  tcwii.sliiiJ  was  iiiadi'  June  i),  1S71.  by  (.>lt'  1!.  Dalii,  section  32. 
1873— Nicholas  M.  Nelson,  12;  William  Tillisch,  26;  John  Hang,- 
28 ;  Peter  G.  Peterson,  30 ;  Carrie  Johannesou,  32 ;  Gilbert  Syver- 
son,  32.  1874 — Ole  P.  Rice,  20;  heirs  of  Sophia  Peterson,  26; 
Anders  Danelson,  34;  Peter  Siui(li|iiist,  34;  Lars  Jolian  Berg,  34; 
Nils  Nilson.  34;  Ilendriek  Persson,  34;  Eriek  Erickson,  34.  1875 
— Hendrick  Hendriekson,  6;  John  Erickson,  6;  Thomas  Olson, 
6;  Hendrick  Olson,  6;  Paul  Erickson.  IS;  Johan  VV.  Rise,  22; 
Ole  S.  Manrnd,  22;  August  W.  Rise,  22;  Ingeburd  Peterson,  22; 
Stephen  Olson,  26;  Johan  Olson,  26;  Anders  Jouasson,  26;  Mareni 
Anders  Hognes,  26;  Ole  Johanesson,  28;  Enibert  Einerson.  28; 
Jacob  Gaudnuison,  30;  Eric  Gnnderson,  30;  Ole  Olson.  30.  1876 
— Ole  Anderson,  12;  John  Oleson,  14;  Kari  Rise,  20;  ilarn 
Weimer,  22;  Ole  Sorensen,  24;  Christina  Lundquist,  34.  1877 — 
Carl  Hansen,  2;  Ilalvor  Hanson,  4;  Ole  Christophson,  6;  Hendrick 
Hendriekson,  6;  James  Hanson,  8;  Johan  II.  Nordl)y,  14;  Simon 
Peterson.  14;  lirent  Christensen,  20;  Christian  Christensen,  20; 
Ole  Erickson.  22;  John  l'.cr>rqnist,  22;  John  M.  Ilolmberg,  24; 
Jones  (irand,  24;  Carl  O.  Ilolmberg,  24;  P.  J.  Petterson,  24; 
Ole  Nelson,  28;  Peter  Cliristenson.  :!();  Clnistoplin-  Oleson,  .30; 
Ole  Christopherson,  30;  John  Suiuhiiiist.  34.  1878 — llalver  Chris- 
tensen, 8;  Hans  ().  Field,  8;  Hans  Halverson,  8;  Knud  Olsen  Boe, 
10;  Abraham  Larson,  10;  Tobias  Hanson,  10;  Lars  Frederiekson, 
10;  Charles  C.  Jolmson,  10;  Ole  S.  Ostagaard,  12;  Ilaagan  Haa- 
gansen.  14;  Ever  Gnnderson,  18;  Paul  Erickson,  18;  Anders 
Anderson.  18;  Erick  Johnson,  18;  John  Johnson,  18;  Andrew 
Halverson,  18;  Halver  Christensen,  18;  Brede  Christensen,  20; 
John  Peterson,  20 ;  Henry  Hendriekson,  20.  1879 — Gulick  Nilson, 
2;  Knndt  Nilson,  2:  Knud  Asmundson,  4;  Ole  Syverson  Eng,  8; 
H.    Iloganson.    18;    Josejih    Anderson.    24;    Paul    Erickson,    24; 


112  IITSTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

Frederick  Selirader,  2G  ■  Ole  Olsen,  31 ;  ilaria  Johnson,  32 ;  Peter 
Oslie,  32:  Kittil  Giilliekson,  32.  1880— Aslaek  Asmundson,  4; 
Guuneriiis  Martinson,  8;  Bersvend  S.  Hagen,  8;  Ole  Amundsen, 
12  ;  John  Johnson.  14 :  Jolin  Hang,  28  ;  Ole  Johaneson,  28 ;  Hendrik 
Berg.  28.  1881— Peter  B.  Olson,  12;  Ole  Anderson,  12;  Berger 
Skjonneson.  14.  1882— Ole  Olson.  4.  1883— Peter  Oleson,  2; 
Fiiig.'r  (  liristopherson,  4 ;  Ole  Syverson  Eng.  8.  1885 — Majestina 
Swansnn,  2. 

Township  114,  range  37  (Sacred  Heart).  Tlie  first  claim  was 
filed  in  1868  by  Francis  Stay,  in  section  6.  1870 — John  0.  Paine, 
12,  13.  18(59- Thor  Helgeson.  5;  Dortus  L.  Green,  8;  Chris- 
tianson  Charleston,  8;  William  F.  Van  Deyer,  13;  Christian  Gort- 
ter.  13;  Daniel  Ames,  24.  1871— Helick  Olson,  5;  Thomas  Olson, 
T);  Oj,.  B.  Dahl.  .">:  Bartel  Larson.  6;  Ole  Heliekson,  6,  7;  Thomas 
Ilaivorson,  7.  S:  Ole  S.  Rei.shus,  6.  1872 — Samuel  Burnell,  12. 
1873 — Herman  Halvorson,  4 ;  Christian  Christenson,  6 ;  Iver  Iver- 
son,  6 :  German  P.  Green.  8 ;  Dortns  L.  Green,  8 ;  Nelson  W. 
Brooks,  12;  Loanna  O'Brien,  14;  William  Beckman,  14;  James 
P.  Okens,  14:  Charlotte  Okeus,  14;  Alfred  P.  Hale,  14;  John  Nor- 
man, 14.  1874 — Jonue  Enestvedt,  10;  Nellie  Enestvedt.  10;  Wil- 
liam Jan.sen.  12;  Samuel  Daniell,  14;  Turae  Horganson.  22.  1875 
— Gunder  Sorenson,  2 ;  Thor  Sorenson,  2 ;  Christian  Olson,  2 ;  Ole 
Olson,  2:  John  Olson,  2;  John  Beckman,  2;  Peder  Olson.  10; 
Phebe  Brooks,  12.  1876— P^mma  Wilson,  2;  Nils  Christian  Emil 
Lilleby,  12 ;  James  P.  Okens.  14 ;  Peter  Thommesson,  22.  1877— 
Hans  Peter  Olson  Lillejord,  4;  Andres  Samuelson,  4;  Mathias 
Sanuielson.  4;  Peter  Peterson,  4;  Lars  Erickson,  4.  1878 — Eliza- 
beth Peterson,  2;  Annie  L\ind,  10;  Charles  G.  Johnson.  12.  1879 
— Mikkal  Haagensen,  4;  Nels  Olsen,  4;  Peter  Martenson,  9;  Ole 
0.  Enstvedt.  10,  15 ;  Ole  Anderson,  22.  1880— Peder  Gunderson, 
4:  Lars  Pederson,  10;  Lars  Larson  Rude,  22;  Halver  Anderson, 
22 ;  Eriek  Nielson,  24.  1884— Annie  Tostenson.  5.  1885— Maria 
Johnson.  5. 

Township  115,  range  35  (Troy).  The  first  claim  was  filed  in 
1873  by  David  R.  Culver  in  section  22.  1874— Jonathan  White, 
24.  1875— Henry  Luscher,  8;  James  L.  White,  22.  1877— Iva  J. 
Everson.  14;  Amos  Casey,  32.  1878— Jotham  W.  Hodsdon,  14; 
Orrin  E.  Buxton,  14;  Thomas  H.  Risinger,  22;  Charles  Waldo, 
24;  Peter  Miller,  24:  Dennis  Plaley,  26;  August  Schendel,  30. 
1879— Paul  Seeger,  18;  James  Heaney,  34.  1880— Jotham  W. 
Hodsdon,  14:  Wilhelm  Reck,  20;  Ferdinand  Fritz,  32.  1881— 
John  E.  W.  Peterson,  2;  Gustav  Reick,  20;  Frank  Heaney,  26; 
Joseph  B.  Converse,  28.  1882— Frank  McCormick,  6;  Andrew 
McCormiek,  6;  James  Flanuegan,  26;  Herman  Fritz,  32;  Fred- 
erick Fritz,  32.  1883— Pear  Olson,  2;  R.  Peter  Peterson,  12; 
Michael  Glenn,  26;  Johnston  W.  Dowry,  30.  1884 — Benjamin  F. 
Bvers,  6 :  Robert  Stelter.  18 ;  William  Sehoregge,  34. 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  113 

Township  113,  range  32  (Wellington).  The  first  claim  on  this 
towjisliip  was  tiled  by  Willis  W.  Coiuitryiiiiui  .September  20,  1872, 
seetiou  '62.  1873 — Denis  Creadj^  30;  William  Chalk,  32.  1874 — 
William  Fahey,  18.  1875— Marshall  Blodget,  2 ;  John  Garihy,  32. 
1876— Ellen  Maloue,  30;  Jolin  Murphy,  34.  1878— Edward 
Hauua,  6;  Ferdinand  Hiuzman,  14;  August  Fritz,  14;  Patrick 
Fahey,  18:  James  Larkin,  28;  Patrick  Larkin,  28.  1881 — Albert 
Kieeker,  22;  William  Carson,  22;  Michael  Coleman,  28.  1882— 
Bernhard  Helwig,  12;  Patrick  Larkin,  28;  Julius  Sell,  34;  Wil- 
helm  Maneke,  2 ;  Fritz  Maneke,  2 ;  Wilhelm  Freyholtz,  24.  1883 
—Karl  Hillmaini,  10;  Julius  Kieeker,  10;  Peter  Schoffka,  12;  Her- 
man Kieeker,  26.  1884 — Edward  Rodgers,  6 ;  Fredrick  Kieeker, 
10 ;  James  Ruddy,  20 ;  Carl  Baldwan,  26 ;  William  Borth,  34. 

Township  116,  range  35  (Winfield).  The  first  claim  was  filed 
in  this  township  ou  April  17,  1869,  by  Christian  Michael  in  sec- 
tion 18.  1870- F.  A.  Atwater,  18.  1877— Friedrich  Zinne,  28; 
Carl  Ileuuing,  30.  1878— Eriek  Lindquist,  2;  Tidemand  T^rick- 
son,  4;  Nils  A.  Nilsou,  14;  Ulrick  Julson,  14.  1879 — John  Erick- 
son,  2 ;  John  Snickare,  22.  1880 — Jul  Ulrickson,  4 ;  D.  John  John- 
son, 22;  Falkert  Hendricks,  30.  1882- Hans  P.  Olson,  22;  Ole 
Julsen,  24.  1883 — Gustav  Herrmann,  30;  George  P.  Wilson,  32. 
1884 — Kristina  Anderson,  22;  John  M.  Anderson,  26;  Emanuel 
Palinlund,  26;  Ferdinand  Zinne,  28.  1885- Fritz  Dietmau,  20; 
John  Ki-thor,  32. 

Township  116,  range  35  (Winfield).  The  first  claims  were 
filed  in  1869.  Christian  ilichael,  section  18;  W^illiam  Biiethe, 
section  32;  James  T.  Knaui',  section  34;  Peter  N.  Nystroni,  sec- 
tion 34;  Ferdinand  Herrmann,  section  34.  1870 — F.  A.  Atwater, 
18.  1877— Friedi'iek  Zinne,  28;  Carl  Henning.  30.  1878— Eriek 
Lindquist,  2:  Eriek  Erickson,  2;  Tidemand  Ulrickson,  4;  Nils  A. 
Nilson,  14 ;  Ulrick  Julson,  14.  1879 — John  Erickson,  2 ;  John 
Sniekai'e,  22.  1880— Jul  Ulrickson,  4;  D.  John  Johnson,  22; 
Falkert  Henricks,  30.  1882— Hans  P.  Olson,  22;  Erik  Jansou,  22; 
Andro  Erickkson,  22;  Ulrick  Julson,  24.  1883— Gustav  Herr- 
mann, 30;  George  P.  Wilson,  32.  1884— Kristina  Anderson,  22; 
John  M.  Andei'son,  26 ;  Emanuel  Palmund,  26 ;  John  Miller,  26 ; 
Ole  Hedberg,  26;  Anders  Renstrom,  26.  1885 — Fritz  Dietman, 
20;  Carl  Hennin<r.  30:  John  Kcther.  32. 

Township  116,  range  38  (Wang).  The  first  claims  on  this 
township  were  filed  by  Ingebraa  J.  Osnes  November  1,  1871,  sec- 
tion 30,  and  Christian  Engbertson,  July  10,  1871,  section  33.  1873 
— Andrew  Anderson,  32 ;  Hans  Olsen,  33 ;  Andrew  E.  Rogen,  34 ; 
Ole  Thomason,  2;  John  Brown,  6.  1874 — Sever  Christopherson, 
6.  1875— Edgar  Lampraan.  4;  Gilbert  Johnson,  34.  1876— Wil- 
liam J.  Smith,  6;  Ole  Ackerland,  18;  Ole  Oleson,  18;  Lars  Eng- 
bretson,  20 ;  Jens  Christopherson,  20 ;  Isaac  Abrahamson,  20 ; 
Jjii'ol)  Hanson,  20;  Tver  Nystuen.  26;  P.  A.  Stmborg.  26.    1877 — 


114  HISTORY  OF  KEXVILLE  COUNTY 

Ole  H.  Husebye,  4:  Ole  H.  Holin.  1S7S— Knizd  Anderson,  6;  Ole 
Christopherson,  10;  Hans  Johnson,  12;  Sj'A'ertli  Gattornusen,  14; 
Christian  Jonseu,  20;  Lorutz  Peterson,  20;  Halvor  Sibilrud,  20; 
Thomas  Henreksou,  26;  Mathias  Magnusen,  32;  Christian  Evan- 
son,  34.  1879 — Anders  0.  Etton,  4;  Christopher  Ilutchins.  6; 
Ingelbi-eckt  Thomson,  8;  Hans  Anderson,  10;  Ole  0.  Belsem,  10; 
John  Thor,  12;  0U>  K.  Williams,  12;  Fosten  Olson,  14;  Knnd 
Knudson,  14;  Elling  Johnson,  14;  Christian  Arestad,  18;  Halvor 
A.  Skjoggerud,  20 ;  Christian  Olsen,  21 ;  Lai's  Gunderson,  22. 
1879— Thomas  Christofferson,  22;  Christian  Toegersen,  28;  Ole 
Erickson,  28 ;  Charl  Pettersen,  28 ;  Ole  E.  Rogu,  28 ;  Ole  Elefson, 
32 ;  Peter  Johnson,  32 ;  Eudre  E.  Rogen,  34.  1880— Lars  J.  Fryk- 
hmd,  12 ;  Eriek  Eriekson,  12 :  Ole  O.  Strand,  12 ;  Helge  Evanson, 
14 ;  Jens  Olson,  22 ;  Andrew  Helgeson,  24 ;  Anders  Thomason 
Kjersten,  26;  Gnllick  Helgesen,  30:  Loruts  J.  Romoe,  30;  Knud 
Anderson,  34.  1881 — Thom  Einghrieuson,  8 ;  Andrew  Anderson, 
10.  1882— Ole  0.  Groo,  4;  Ole  Nelson,  10;  John  Peterson,  10; 
Thi-ond  (X  Kattevold.  18;  Everet  M.  Strand.  22.  1883— Andrew 
T.  Ellingboe,  4;  Thrond  I.  Elliugboe.  4:  George  C.  Ileon.  8:  Cliris- 
topher  Gulbranson,  8. 

CHAPTER  IX. 
CAUSES  OF  THE  OUTBREAK. 

Early  Friendship — Dissatisfaction  with  Treaties — Unjust  Treat- 
ment— Inkpadoota  Massacre — Officials  Demand  that  Indians 
Capture  Renegades — Little  Crow  to  the  Rescue — Delayed 
Payments  in  1862 — Indians  Starving — Stupidity  of  Agent — 
Indians  Turbulent — March  and  Sheehan  to  the  Rescue. 

The  Sioux  outbreak  was  the  culmination  of  a  long  series  of 
injustices  toward  the  Indians  on  the  part  of  the  whites.  De- 
bauched, defrauded,  degraded;  forced  by  fear  of  the  strength  of 
the  whites,  and  by  misrepresentations,  to  dispose  of  their  lands ; 
herded  together  on  reservations;  treated  by  the  whites  as  half- 
witted children,  cheated  by  the  traders  and  starved  by  the  stu- 
pidity of  high  olBcials  at  Washington,  who,  in  addition  to  the 
unfair  provisions  of  unjust  treaties,  imposed  additional  con- 
ditions ;  the  Indians,  knowing  the  revenge  that  the  whites  would 
take  for  a  murder  already  committed  by  some  renegade  braves, 
arose  in  their  might,  and  for  a  time  nearly  succeeded  in  regaining 
their  hereditary  holdings. 

The  relations  of  the  Sioux  Indians  to  the  white  trespassers 
on  their  lands  were  of  a  friendly  nature  from  the  time  of  the 
arrival  of  the  first  white  explorer.  Adventurers  and  traders 
came  and  went  at  Avill.     The  French,  true  to  their  policy,  made 


HISTORY  OF  KFA\I1.LK  (orXTV  115 

friends  M-itli  the  Sioux,  ;iii(l  the  English  folh)\vod  tlieir  example. 
So  deep  "was  the  friendship  existing  between  the  Sioux  and  the 
British  that  they  fought  side  by  side  in  the  Revolutionary  War 
and  in  the  War  of  1812. 

With  the  people  of  the  United  States  the  Sioux  wore  no  less 
tolerant,  and  until  the  great  outbreak  they  remained  faithful 
to  the  obligations  of  the  treaty  they  made  witli  Zebulon  M.  Pike, 
in  ISO.'),  -n-itli  the  exception  already  mentioned  of  a  short  period 
iluring  tlie  War  of  1812,  -when  the  Sioux,  knoM'ing  little  of  the 
Americans,  ami  remembering  their  many  obligations  to  the 
English,  took  up  arms  in  bi'half  of  the  Briti.sh  king.  Even  dur- 
ing that  period  Red  Wing's  band  remained  loyal  to  the  Stars  and 
Stripes. 

There  were,  of  course,  isolated  cases  in  which  individual  Sioux 
warriors  wrought  revenge  for  injuries  received,  just  as  there 
are  illegal  acts  committed  in  civilized  white  communities.  The 
despoiling  of  the  French  adventurers  who,  naked  and  bruised, 
songlit  shelter  in  LeSueur's  fort  near  Mankato  in  the  winter  of 
1700-01;  the  murder  of  Pagonta,  "the  Mallard  Duck,"  at  Men- 
dota  by  Ix-ka-tai)ay  in  1761 ;  the  murder  of  the  two  cattle  drovers 
by  a  few  wild  Sisseton  Sioux  near  Big  Stone  lake  in  1846;  the 
killing  of  Elijah  S.  Teriy  by  men  of  the  same  tribe  near  Pem- 
bina in  1852;  the  shooting  in  October  of  the  latter  year  of  Mrs. 
Keener  by  Zv-yali-se  were  offenses  in  Avhich  the  Sioux  as  a  nation 
had  no  part,  for  which  the  perpetrators  only  were  responsible. 
In  fact  the  Sioux  boasted  up  to  the  time  of  the  outbreak  that 
never  in  all  history  had  a  white  man  been  injured  in  the  Sioux 
country  with  the  approval  of  the  Sioux  as  a  people. 

Gradually,  however,  discontent  grew  up  between  the  Indians 
and  the  whites,  though  an  outward  friendli)iess  was  maintained. 
The  real  causes  of  the  final  outbreak  were  the  Treaties  of  1851. 
The  Sioux  did  not  want  to  give  uj)  theii-  land.  They  desired  to 
live  as  they  had  lived  through  the  countless  centuries.  In  signing 
the  treaties  which  relinquished  their  lands  and  condemned  them- 
selves to  a  practical  im])i'is(>iiiiiiiit  on  a  reservation,  the  Sioux 
were  bowing  to  the  iiii'vitablc. 

Probably  if  tlir  ti'caties  luid  inri'cly  providi'd  for  1hr  ti'ansfer 
of  their  lands  to  the  whites  for  a  certain  amount  and  the  amount 
had  been  jiaid  the  Indians  would  have  made  the  best  of  a  bad 
bargain  and  on  tlnii'  reservations  they  might  as  time  progressed 
have  worked  out  their  own  |irol)l<Mii.  lint  tlierc  were  iiian,\'  other 
provisions  in  tlie  treaties. 

By  the  treaty  of  Traverse  des  Sioux,  dated  -Inly  -I'.i,  1851, 
between  the  United  States  and  the  Sissetons  and  Wapatons, 
•$275,000  were  to  be  paid  their  chiefs,  and  a  further  sum  of 
$30,000  was  to  be  expended  for  their-  benefit  in  Indian  imi)rove- 
ments.     B.v  the  treaty   of   .Mendota.   dated  Augu.st  5,   1851,   the 


116  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

I\[icla\\akantons  and  "\Vai)akiitas  were  to  receive  the  sum  of 
$200,000.  to  be  paid  to  their  chief,  aud  for  an  improvement  fund 
the  further  sum  of  $30,000.  Annuities  were  also  to  be  paid  for  a 
certain  number  of  years.  The  several  sums,  which  were  to 
become  payable  when  the  Indians  reached  their  reservations, 
amounting  in  the  aggregate  to  $555,000.  These  Indians,  to  whom 
they  were  payable,  claimed  they  were  never  paid,  except,  per- 
haps, a  small  portion  expended  in  improvements  on  tlie  reserva- 
tions. They  became  dissatisfied,  and  expressed  their  views  in 
council  freely  with  the  agent  of  the  government. 

In  1857,  the  Indian  department  at  Washington  sent  out  Major 
Kintzing  Priehette,  a  man  of  great  experience,  to  inqiiire  into  the 
cause  of  this  disaffection  towards  the  government.  In  his  report 
of  that  year,  made  to  the  Indian  department.  Major  Pricliette 
says : 

"The  complaint  which  runs  through  all  their  councils  i^oints 
to  the  imperfect  performance,  or  iion-fulfillment  of  treaty  stipu- 
lations. Wlietlier  tliese  were  well  or  ill  foimded  it  is  not  my 
l^roviuce  to  discuss.  That  such  a  belief  prevails  among  them, 
impairing  their  confidence  and  good  faith  in  the  goverinnent, 
cannot  be  questioned." 

In  one  of  these  councils  Jagmani  said :  "The  Indians  sold  tlieir 
lands  at  Traverse  des  Sioux.  I  say  what  we  were  told.  For  fifty 
years  they  were  to  be  paid  $50,000  per  annum.  We  were  also 
promised  $305,000,  and  that  we  liave  not  seen."  ]\Iapipa  Wieasta 
(Cloud  jMau),  second  chief  of  Jagmani "s  baud,  said:  "At  the 
treaty  of  Traverse  des  Sioux,  $275,000  Avere  to  be  paid  tliem  when 
they  came  upon  their  reservation ;  they  desired  to  know  what  had 
become  of  it.  Every  white  man  knows  that  thej'  have  been  five 
years  upon  their  reservation,  and  have  yet  heard  nothing  of  it." 
When  the  treatment  of  the  Indians  became  widely  known  tlie 
government  coi;ld  iio  longer  cover  up  the  matter  and  decided  to 
appoint  Judge  Young  to  investigate  the  charges  made  against 
the  governor,  of  the  tlien  Minnesota  territory,  then  acting,  ex- 
officio,  as  superijitendent  of  Indian  affairs  for  that  locality.  Some 
short  extracts  from  Judge  Young's  report  are  here  presented: 

"The  governor  is  next  charged  witli  having  paid  over  the 
greater  part  of  the  money,  appropriated  under  the  fourth  article 
of  the  treaty  of  July  23  and  August  5.  1851.  to  one  Hugh  Tyler, 
for  payment  or  distribution  to  the  'traders'  and  'half-breeds,' 
contrary  to  the  wislies  and  remonstrances  of  the  Indians,  and  in 
violation  of  law  and  the  stipulations  contained  in  said  treaties; 
and  also  in  violation  of  his  own  solemn  pledges,  personally  made 
to  them,  in  regard  to  said  payments. 

"Of  $275,000  stipulated  to  be  paid  under  tlie  first  clause  oi 
the  fomth  article  of  the  treaty  of  Traverse  des  Sioux,  of  July 
24,  1851.  the  sum  of  $250,000  was  delivered  over  to  Hugh  Tyler, 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  •  117 

by  tlie  tijovurnor,  for  distribution  aiiu)U!|  the  'traders  and  "liall'- 
breeds, '  according  to  the  arrangeraeut  made  by  the  schedule  of 
the  Traders'  Paper,  dated  at  Traverse  des  Sioux,  July  23,  1851." 
(This  "vvas  the  paper  which  the  Indians  declared  they  were  told 
Avas  merely  another  copy  of  the  treaty. — Ed.) 

"For  this  large  sum  of  money,  Hugh  Tyler  executed  two 
receipts  to  the  governor,  as  the  attorney  for  the  'traders'  and 
'half-breeds;'  the  one  for  $210,000  on  account  of  the  'traders,' 
and  the  other  for  .$40,000  on  account  of  the  'half-breeds;'  the 
first  dated  at  St.  Paul,  December  8,  1852,  and  the  second  at  Men- 
dota,  December  11,  1852." 

"And  of  the  sum  of  $110,000,  stipulated  to  be  paid  to  the 
Medawakantons,  under  the  fourth  article  of  the  treaty  of  August 
5,  1851,  the  sum  of  $70,000  was  in  like  manner  paid  over  to  the 
said  Tj'ler,  on  a  power  of  attorney  executed  to  him  by  the  traders 
and  claimants,  under  the  said  treaty,  on  December  11,  1852.  The 
receipts  of  the  said  Tyler  to  the  governor  for  this  money,  $70,000, 
is  dated  at  St.  Paul,  December  13,  1852,  making  together  the  sum 
of  $320,000.  This  has  been  shown  to  have  been  contrary  to  the 
wishes  and  remonstrances  of  a  large  majority  of  the  Indians." 
And  Judge  Young  adds:  ''It  is  also  believed  to  be  in  violation 
of  the  treaty  stipulations,  as  well  as  the  law  making  the  appro- 
priations under  them." 

These  several  sums  of  money  were  to  be  paid  to  these  Indians 
in  o]nm  council,  and  soon  after  they  were  on  their  reservations 
provided  for  them  by  the  ti-eaties.  In  these  matters  the  report 
shows  the}'  were  not  consulted  at  all,  in  ojjen  council ;  but  on  the 
contrary,  that  arbitrary  divisions  and  distributions  were  made 
of  the  entire  fund,  and  their  right  denied  to  direct  the  manner  in 
which  they  should  be  appropriated.  (See  Acts  of  Congress, 
August  30,  1852.) 

The  Indians  claimed,  also,  that  the  third  section  of  the  act 
was  violated,  as  by  that  section  the  appropriations  therein  referred 
to,  should,  in  everj'  instance,  be  paid  directly  to  the  Indians  them- 
selves, to  whom  it  should  be  due,  or  to  the  tribe,  or  part  of  the 
tribe,  per  capita,  "unless  otherwise  the  imperious  interests  of 
the  Indians  or  some  treaty  stipulation  should  require  the  payment 
to  be  made  otherwise,  under  the  direction  of  the  president.'-' 
This  money  was  never  so  paid.  The  report  further  states  that  a 
large  sum,  "$55,000,  was  deducted  by  Hugh  Tyler  by  way  of 
discount  and  percentage  on  gross  amount  of  payments,  and  that 
these  exactions  were  made  both  from  traders  and  half-breeds, 
without  any  previous  agreement,  in  many  instances,  and  in  such 
a  way,  in  some,  as  to  make  the  impression  that  unless  they  were 
submitted  to,  no  payments  would  be  made  to  such  claimants  at 
an." 

And,  finally  the  report  says,  that  from  the  testimony  it  was 


118  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

evident  that  the  money  was  not  paid  to  the  chiefs,  either  to  the 
Sisseton,  Wapatou  or  Medawakantoii  bands,  as  they  in  open 
council  requested ;  but  that  they  were  eouipelled  to  submit  to  this 
mode  of  laayment  to  the  traders,  otherwise  no  payment  woidd  be 
made,  and  the  money  would  be  returned  to  Washington ;  so  that 
in  violation  of  law  they  were  compelled  to  comply  with  the  gov- 
ernor's terms  of  payment,  according  to  Hugh  Tyler's  power  of 
attorney. 

The  examination  of  this  complaint,  on  the  part  of  the  Indians, 
by  the  Senate  of  tlie  United  States,  resulted  in  "whitewashing"' 
the  governor  of  Minnesota  (Governor  Alexander  Ramsey),  yet 
the  Indians  were  not  satisfied  w^ith  the  treatment  they  had 
received  in  this  matter  by  the  accredited  agents  of  the  govern- 
ment. 

Neither  were  the  Indians  satisfied  wtili  the  annual  payments. 
They  had  desired  that  they  receive  the  money  promptly  and  in 
cash.  Instead  they  received  part  of  it  in  provisions,  which  gave 
the  whites  many  opportunities  for  taking  advantage  of  them, 
the  market  value  of  the  provisions  never  being  equal  to  the 
amount  which  was  taken  out  of  the  Indian  fund  to  pay  for  them. 
The  Indians  rightfully  felt  that  they  should  be  given  the  iiioney 
and  allowed  to  do  the  purchasing  themselves. 

Then,  too,  a  certain  amount  of  the  money  due  the  Indians 
each  year  was  devoted  to  a  "civilization  fiuid,"  that  is,  for 
agency  expenses,  erecting  ageney  buildings,  jiaying  agents,  teach- 
ers, farmers,  missionaries  and  the  like,  thus  making  another 
drain  on  an  already  small  sum.  The  Indian  cotdd  not  view  with 
calmness  the  luxury  in  which  the  whites  were  living  on  money 
which  rightfully  belonged  to  the  Indian,  while  the  Indian  him- 
self was  living  in  utmost  jioverty,  shut  oft'  from  the  rich  sweeps 
of  land  where  he  had  formerly  received  his  sustenance. 

The  action  of  the  govci-nment  in  regard  to  the  Inkpadoota 
massacre,  so  called,  added  force  to  tiie  smouldering  dissatisfac- 
tion. The  Indians  guilty  of  this  tragedy  were  formerly  nunnbers 
of  Sioux  liands,  but  their  own  acts,  in  many  eases  murder  of  com- 
panions and  relatives,  had  shut  them  off  from  their  owni  people, 
so  at  the  time  of  the  1S.')7  outrage  they  were  renegades,  outlaws, 
whose  crimes  against  their  own  kinsmen  had  been  such  that  the 
Sioux  had  driven  them  forth  to  wander  the  prairies  like  savage 
wolves,  hated  alike  by  Indian  and  Caucasian. 

For  many  years  they  were  in  constant  trouble  with  the  whites, 
their  outlaw  acts  being  many  and  black,  though  the  authorities 
took  no  action  against  them.  Sometimes,  however,  an  outraged 
white  settler  visited  summary  ])unisliuient  on  his  own  account 
without  waiting  for  tlie  authorities. 

Early  in  ilareh,  IS.'iT,  Inkpadoota 's  band  of  outlaws  stole 
some  horses  and  sleds  from  some  settlers  on  the  Little  Sioux  river, 


HISTORY  OF  REWiLLE  COT^NTY  119 

aud  oil  Mart'li  8  coiiiiiieiiced  their  awl'ul  slaughter  on  Lake 
Okoboji,  in  Dickinson  county,  Iowa.  Spirit  lake  is  connected 
with  this  lake  by  open  straits,  and  though  only  one  man  was 
actually  murdered  on  the  hanks  of  Spirit  lake  the  affair  is  usually 
called  the  Spirit  lake  massacre. 

March  26  came  the  massacre  at  Spriiigtield,  in  what  is  now 
Brown  county,  this  state.  Iiikpadoota,  whose  force  consisted  of 
but  twelve  fighting  men,  in  addition  to  women  and  children,  was 
pursued  by  several  companies  of  soldiers.  Many  innocent  Indians 
were  fired  upcn  and  maltreated,  but  Iiikpadoota  was  not  cap- 
tured. 

In  June  came  the  time  for  the  annual  payments  to  the  Indians 
at  the  agency.  When  the  Indians  gathered  there  to  receive  their 
money  they  were  told  that  no  payments  would  be  made  unless 
they  (the  Indians)  should  go  out  and  capture  lukpadoota.  This 
command  was  made  on  the  order  of  Indian  Commissioner  J.  W. 
Denver.  To  the  stupidity  and  stubbornness  of  this  man  Denver, 
Minnesota  owes  its  Indian  massacre  of  1862.  "Wise  men  in  the 
territory  suggested  that  the  people  of  the  territory  be  allowed 
to  raise  a  troop  of  soldiers  and  go  after  Inkpadoota,  supported 
by  a  detachment  of  cavalry.  But  these  men  were  promjitly  told 
by  Secretary  of  War  Floyd  aud  Commissioner  Denver  that  no 
suggestions  were  desired  and  that  the  officials  at  Washington 
would  handle  the  affair  as  they  saw  fit. 

Thus  the  weeks  passed  while  the  Indians  endured  untold  suf- 
ferings of  illness  and  starvation.  They  saw  their  wives  and  chil- 
dren hunger  and  sicken  and  die.  The  grasshoppers  were  eating 
up  their  garden  produce  and  their  corn  fields  and  truck  fields 
were  spoiling  of  neglect  M'liile  they  waited  at  the  agency  for  the 
money  that  a  great  government  owed  them.  And  this  great 
government,  whose  own  well-armed  and  well-equipped  troops 
had  failed  to  caj)ture  a  small  band  of  tw(>lv(>  iiicii,  though  at  one 
time  only  a  few  miles  away  from  them,  demanded  that  the  starv- 
ing Sioux  awaiting  their  payments  arm  and  equip  themselves 
and  capture  these  outlaws,  in  whose  doings  they  had  no  part  and 
no  interest. 

"Give  us  our  annuities  first,  so  that  Ave  can  eat,  and  we  will 
go  after  Inkpadoota,"  said  many  of  the  Indians.  "The  treaty 
I  signed  at  Traverse  des  Sioux  said  our  money  would  be  paid  us 
regularly,  and  nothing  was  said  about  our  having  to  go  out  and 
bring  in  those  who  had  killed  white  people.  Ne-manka-Ha-yu- 
sha"  (.skin  your  own  skunk) .  Thus  spoke  Chief  Red  Iron.  Super- 
intendent Culh^n  and  Agent  Flandran  could  only  reply  that  they 
were  acting  under  orders  from  Commissioner  Denver  and  must 
obey  him.  But  CuUen's  heart  was  not  in  the  work;  he  sent  an 
agent,  a  Mr.  Bowes,  down  to  Dunleith,  Illinois,  then  the  nearest 
telegraph  station  to  ^liniiesota,  so  that  speedy  communication 


120  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

could  be  had  -with  Washington,  and  he  telegraphed  Denver, 
repeatedly  urging  a  repeal,  or  at  least  a  modification  of  the 
obnoxious  order,  -nhich  Cullen  and  Flandrau  were  as  loth  to 
enforce  as  the  Indians  -were  unwilling  to  execute.  But  Denver 
was  obdurate,  and  Secretary  Floyd  was  haughtily  indifferent.  At 
last  Cullen  and  Flandrau  appealed  to  Little  Crow  to  help  them. 
They  assured  him  that  their  superiors  were  determined  that 
before  the  annuities  were  paid  the  peaceable  Indians  must  pursue 
and  destroy,  or  capture,  Inkpadoota  and  all  his  band.  If  the 
Indians  persisted  in  their  refusal  to  do  what  was  required  there 
was  the  greatest  danger  of  a  bloody  war  between  them  and  the 
whites,  and  nobody  knew  that  better  than  Little  Crow.  He  was 
asked  to  set  an  example  by  furnishing  fifty  men  from  his  own 
bands  for  the  expedition  against  the  outlaws,  and  to  command 
the  expedition  himself.  "Your  band  shall  first  be  furnished  with 
abundant  supplies,"  said  Major  Cullen.  The  chief  at  once  con- 
sented, and  visited  the  other  chiefs  and  bauds  to  induce  them  to 
join  him. 

On  the  eighteenth  another  council  was  held  relative  to  the 
exjjedition  against  Inkpadoota.  Cullen,  Flandrau,  Special  Agent 
Pritcliette  and  Major  Sherman  represented  the  whites.  A  num- 
ber of  new  bright  colored  blankets  and  a  fat  beef  were  presented 
to  each  band  for  a  feast.  The  Indians  decided  to  undertake  the 
expedition,  with  Little  Crow  in  command,  and  no  wiiite  trooi^s 
to  go. 

The  lu^xt  day,  Sunday,  July  19,  the  Lower  Indians  set  out  to 
join  the  Upper  Indians  at  Yellow  Medicine,  and  from  that  agency 
on  the  Wednesday  following  the  entire  party  marched,  Little 
Crow  in  command.  ]\Iajor  Cullen  sent  his  interi^reter,  Antoine 
Joseph  Campbell,  and  three  other  half-breeds,  John  and  Baptiste 
Campbell  and  John  ilooers.  The  entire  party  numbered  over 
one  hundred  men — IMajor  Cullen  says  one  hundred  and  thirty- 
one;  Joe  Campbell  reported  one  hundred  and  six.  I\Iajor  Sher- 
man furnished  a  wagon  laden  with  i^rovisions.  drawn  by  six 
mules. 

The  expedition  set  out  for  Skunk  lake — now  called  Madison 
lake — about  forty  miles  west  of  the  Red  Pipestone  Quarry,  in 
what  is  now  Lake  county,  South  Dakota.  Joe  Campbell  kept 
a  daily  journal  of  the  expedition,  and  from  his  itinerary,  pub- 
lished with  the  superintedent's  report,  it  is  learned  that  two  days 
after  leaving  Yellow  Medicine  the  party  reached  Joseph  Brown's 
trading  post  on  the  head  of  the  Redwood ;  here  Glittering  Cloud 
was  elected  conductor  or  guide  of  the  expedition.  The  next  day 
they  encamped  at  the  village  of  Lean  Bear,  head  soldier  of  the 
Sleepy  Eye  band.  Then  via  the  "Hole  in  the  Mountain,"  and 
Crooked  river,  the  expedition  reached  Skunk  lake  on  the  after- 
noon of  Julv  28  and  found  the  outlaws.    Meanwhile  the  outlawed 


IIISTOKV   OF   HKWILLE  (OrXTV  121 

baiiil  had  quarreU'd  aiul  st'paratoil.  Jiikpadoota  and  tliree  other 
M-ari'i()rs,  with  a  imiubfi'  of  woiiioii  and  tdiildren.  had  gone  far 
to  the  westward.  The  otiier  eiglit  figliting  men,  with  nine  women 
and  tliirteen  cliildreu,  had  come  eastward  and  encamped  at 
Skunk  lake,  where  there  were  dneks  and  fish  in  abundance.  They 
occui)ied  six  lodges,  which  were  distributed  along  the  lake  shore 
for  three  miles.  The  advance  of  Little  Crow  and  his  party  had 
been  discovered,  and  all  the  lodges  had  been  deserted,  and  their 
ipmates  had  fled  to  another  lake  twelve  or  fifteen  miles  to  the 
westward,  then  called  by  the  Indians  Big  Driftwood  lake,  and 
now  called  Lake  Herman.  Little  Crow  had  a  mounted  advance 
guard  of  seventeen  men  led  by  himself.  They  overtook  the  fugi- 
tives crossing  the  lake,  and  after  a  short  parley  commenced 
shooting,  firing  into  an<l  across  the  lake  until  the  fugitives  were 
far  out  of  range.  In  all  three  women,  three  men  and  three  chil- 
dren of  the  Inkpadootas  were  killed.  It  was  never  known  or 
cared  M'hether  or  not  the  women  and  children  were  killed  delib- 
erately. 

Upon  the  return  of  Little  Crow  and  his  force  with  the  two 
women  ])risoners,  one  of  them  the  widow  of  Shifting  "Wind,  who 
had  been  killed,  they  were  notified  that  perhaps  they  had  not 
done  enough  to  secure  the  payment  of  their  annuities ;  the  author- 
ities at  Washington  must  decide.  Commissioner  Denver  at  first 
order(>(l  that  the  payment  and  issue  of  supplies  should  be  with- 
held until  Little  Crow  should  again  go  out  and  scour  all  the 
western  country  until  he  had  destroyed  the  remaindrr  of  lukpa- 
doota's  band.  The  representations  and  protestations  of  Super- 
intendent Cullen  and  of  the  department's  special  agent,  Major 
Kintzing  Pritehette,  could  not  change  the  unreasonable  and  stub- 
born connnissioner.  Little  Crow  and  party  returned  to  the 
agencies  August  3.  They  and  their  women  and  children  con- 
tinued to  go  hungry,  as  the  sui)erintendent  said,  until  about 
September,  when,  during  Denver's  absence  from  "Washington, 
Acting  Commissioner  Charles  T.  Mix  directed  Superintendent 
Cullen  to  make  the  payment  and  issue  the  supplies.  Denver's 
unwise  and  unjust  course  was  to  have  its  effect  five  years  later. 
The  treaty  of  1858  was  not  pleasing  to  the  majority  of  the 
Indians.  It  was  made  at  Washington  by  a  few  Indians  picked 
by  the  white  men  for  that  purpose,  and  the  braves  declared  that 
those  who  made  the  treaty  had  no  authority  to  give  away  the 
Indian  lands  M'ithont  the  consent  of  the  Indians  as  a  whole. 

By  this  treaty  the  Sioux  relinquished  their  lauds  north  of 
the  Minnesota,  and  confined  their  reservation  to  a  strip  ten  miles 
wide  on  the  south  side  of  that  river. 

The  treaty  also  elaborated  a  scheme  for  forcing  the  Indian 
to  the  white  man's  way  of  living.  A  civilization  fund  was  pro- 
vided, to  be  taken  from  the  annuities,  and  expended  in  improve- 


122  HISTOKY  OF  KEXVILLE  COrXTV 

ments  ou  the  lauds  of  such  of  them  as  should  abaudon  then- 
tribal  relations,  and  adopt  the  habits  and  modes  of  life  of  the 
white  race.  To  all  such,  lands  were  to  be  assigned  in  severalty, 
eighty  acres  to  each  head  of  a  family.  On  these  farms  were  to 
be  erected  out  of  the  animities  the  necessary  farm  buildings  and 
farming  implements,  and  cattle  were  to  be  furnished  them. 

In  addition  to  these  so-called  favors  the  government  offered 
them  pay  for  such  labors  of  value  as  were  performed,  in  addition 
to  the  crops  they  raised.  Indian  farmers  now  augmented  rapidly, 
until  the  outbreak  in  1862.  at  whicli  time  about  one  hundred  and 
sixty  had  taken  advantage  of  the  provisions  of  the  treaty.  A 
number  of  farms,  some  160.  had  good,  snug  brick  houses  erected 
upon  them.  Among  these  was  Little  CroAv.  and  many  of  these 
farmer  Indians  belonged  to  his  own  band. 

The  Indians  disliked  the  idea  of  taking  any  portion  of  the 
general  fund  belonging  to  the  tribe  for  the  purpose  of  carrying 
out  the  civilization  scheme.  Those  Indians  who  retained  the 
" blanket. ■■  and  lience  called  '"blanket  Indians,"'  denounced  the 
measure  as  a  fraud  upon  their  rights.  The  chase  was  then  a 
God-given  right;  this  scheme  foi-feited  that  ancient  natural  right, 
as  it  pointed  unmistakal)!y  to  the  destruction  of  the  chase. 

The  treaty  of  18a8  had  opened  for  settlement  a  vast  frontier 
country  of  the  most  attractive  character,  in  the  Valley  of  the 
Minnesota,  and  the  streams  putting  into  the  ^Minnesota,  on  either 
side,  such  as  Beaver  creek.  Sacred  Heart.  Hawk  and  Cliippewa 
rivers  and  some  otlier  small  streams,  were  flourishing  settlements 
of  white  families.  Witliin  this  ceded  tract,  ten  miles  wide,  were 
the  scattered  settlements  of  Birch  Coolie,  Patterson  Rapids,  on 
the  Sacred  Heart,  and  others  as  far  up  as  the  Upper  Agency  at 
Yellow  ^Medicine,  in  Renville  county.  Tlie  county  of  Brown 
adjoined  the  reservation,  and  was,  at  the  time,  settled  mostly  by 
Germans.  In  this  county  was  the  floiu-ishing  town  of  New  Ulm, 
and  a  thriving  settlement  on  the  Big  Cottonwood  and  Waton- 
wan, consisting  of  German  and  American  pioneers,  who  had 
selected  this  lovely  and  fertile  valley  for  their  future  homes. 

In  the  spring  and  summer  of  1862  the  several  Sioux  bands 
of  Minnesota  who  had  been  parties  to  the  Treaties  of  1851  and 
1858  had,  witli  a  few  exceptions,  all  their  villages  within  the 
prescribed  limits  of  the  reservation.  The  Yanktons  were  ou  the 
Missouri  river,  in  the  region  where  the  city  of  Yankton,  South 
Dakota,  is  now  located.  They  never  came  east  of  Lac  qui  Parle. 
The  Sissetons  were  for  the  most  part  on  the  banks  of  Lake 
Traverse  and  Big  Stone  lake,  though  some  were  to  the  west- 
ward. The  Wahpatons  were  near  the  Yellow  ]\Iedicine.  in  the 
region  known  as  the  LTpper  Agency.  The  Medawakautons  and 
the  Wahpakootas,  the  "Lower  Agency  Indians,"'  had  their  bands 
along  the  south  bank  of  the  Minnesota,  stretching  from  a  little 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  123 

east  of  Yellow  Medicine  eastwanl  to  some  four  miles  below  Ft. 
Ridgely. 

The  sub-baud  of  yiiakopee  (Six,  commouly  called  Little  Six) 
was  a  mile  and  more  west  of  the  mouth  of  the  Redwood  river. 
All  about  the  Lower  or  Redwood  Agency  were  the  other  Medawa- 
kanton  sub-bauds.  The  old  Kaposia  village  of  Little  Crow  was 
on  the  south  side  of  thr  :\limu'sota,  a  little  west  of  the  small 
stream  called  Crow's  creek,  nearly  opposite  the  present  village  of 
Morton.  Near  Crow's  village  was  the  band  of  the  Great  War 
Eagle,  commonly  ealli'd  Big  Eagle  ( Wam-bde-Tonka),  and  this 
had  been  the  band  of  Gray  Iron,  of  Fort  Snelling.  Below  the 
agency  was  the  sub-band  of  Wah-pahah-sha  (meaning  literally 
Red  "War  Banner),  who  was  commonly  called  Wabasha,  and  who 
was  the  head  chief  of  the  Medawakauton  band.  Near  him  was  the 
village  of  Wacouta  (pronounced  Wah-koota,  and  meaniug  the 
Shooter),  who  was  now  chief  of  the  old  Red  Wing  band.  In  this 
vicinity  was  the  band  of  Travelhig  Hail,  sometimes  called  Pass- 
ing Hail  (Wa-su-he-yi-ye-dan).  Old  Cloud  Man  was  alive,  but 
old  and  feeble,  and  had  turned  over  the  chieftanship  to  Traveling 
Hail,  formerly  of  Cloud  Man's  band  of  Lake  Calhoun;  and 
farther  down  the  Minnesota,  but  along  the  crest  of  the  high  bluff 
bank  was  the  band  of  Mankato,  Mho  had  succeeded  his  father, 
the  historic  old  Good  Road,  in  tlie  chieftainship  of  one  of  the 
prominent  old  Fort  Snelling  bands.  The  Wahpakootas  were 
reduced  to  one  band,  whose  chief  was  Red  Legs  (Ilu-sha-sha), 
although  Pa-Pay  was  recognized  as  one  in  authority.  The  Wah- 
pakoota  village  was  below  Mankato 's  on  the  same  side  of  the 
river. 

In  the  spring  of  1861  the  Republican  party  came  into  national 
poM-er.  I\Ia,jor  William  J.  Cullen,  the  Democratic  Indian  super- 
intendent, was  veiiioved,  and  Clark  W.  Thompson,  of  Fillmore 
county,  was  appointetl  in  his  stead.  Joseph  R.  Brown,  agent  for 
the  Sioux,  was  removed,  and  his  place  taken  by  Thomas  J.  Gal- 
braith,  of  Shakopee. 

The  new  agent  endorsed  the  policy  and  adopted  the  methods 
of  his  predecessor  almost  entirely.  Especially  did  he  endeavor 
to  make  the  Indians  self-supporting.  Those  who  were  already 
"farmers"'  or  "breeches  Indians"  were  favored  and  encouraged 
in  many  Avays,  and  those  who  were  still  barbaric  and  blanketed 
were  remonstrated  with,  and  entreated  to  enter  upon  the  new  life. 

The  autumn  of  1861  closed  upon  the  affairs  of  the  farmer 
Indians  quite  unsatisfactorily ;  their  crops  were  light,  the  Upper 
Sioux  raising  little  or  nothing.  Tlie  cut  worms  had  destroyed 
well  nigh  all  the  corn  fields  of  the  Sissetons,  and  the  same  pests, 
together  with  the  blackbirds,  had  greatly  damaged  the. crops  of 
the  Wahpatons,  Medawakantons  and  Wahpakootas.  Agent  Gal- 
braith  M-as  forced  to  l)uy  on  credit  large  quantities  of  pork  and 


124  HISTORY  OB^  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

floTir  for  the  destitute  Indians.  Under  the  direction  of  ^Mission- 
arj'  Riggs,  Avho  lived  among  them,  Agent  Galbraith  fed  1,500 
Sissetons  and  Wahpatous  from  tlie  middle  of  December,  1861,  to 
April  1,  1862,  when  they  were  able  to  go  off  on  their  spring 
hunts.  He  also  fed  and  cared  for  a  number  of  tlie  old  and 
infirm  and  other  worthy  characters  among  the  Lower  Indians; 
but  for  the  assistance  of  the  government  numbers  of  these 
wretched  savages  would  have  starved  during  that  hard  winter 
of  1861-1862.  The  "farmer"  Indians  Avere  kept  at  work  during 
the  winter  making  fence  rails,  cutting  and  hauling  saw  logs  to 
the  saw  mills  at  the  Upper  and  Lower  Agency  and  other  work, 
and  in  payment  received  regular  issues  of  supplies  for  them- 
selves and  families. 

Prior  to  1857  the  payment  to  the  Indians  under  the  treaties 
were  made  semi-annually.  In  that  year  Superintendent  Cullen 
changed  this  practice  to  one  payment  a  year,  which,  until  1862, 
had  commonly  been  made  about  the  tenth  of  June.  This  event 
was  a  great  red  letter  day  in  the  Indian  calendar.  It  engaged 
attention  for  mouths  before  it  came ;  it  was  a  pleasant  memory 
for  months  afterAvards.  Every  beneficiary  attended  the  payment, . 
and  many  of  the  Cut  Heads  and  Yauktonnais.  tliat  Avere  not 
entitled  to  receive  anything,  came  hundreds  of  miles  and  swarmed 
on  the  outskirts  of  the  camj),  hoping  to  get  something,  hoAvever 
little,  from  the  stock  to  be  distributed.  So  there  Avas  ahvays  a 
big  croAvd  present  at  the  payment  and  a  rare  good  time. 

The  traders  ahvays  received  a  liberal  .share  of  the  money.  For 
a  year  the  Indians  had  been  buying  goods  from  them  on  credit, 
promising  to  pay  in  furs  at  the  end  of  the  hunting  season.  When 
default  Avas  made  in  the  payment,  Avhich  Avas  iuA'ariably  the  case, 
the  balance  Avas  promised  in  cash  "at  the  payment.''  The  traders 
Avere  therefore  ahvays  jjresent  near  the  pa.y  tables.  Avith  their 
books  of  account,  and  Avhen  the  Indian  had-  received  his  money 
from  the  government  paymaster  he  Avas  led  over  to  his  trader  and 
asked  to  pay  Avhat  he  OAved.  The  majority  of  the  Indians  were 
willing  to  pay  their  debts,  but  there  Avere  others  Avho  Avould  not 
pay  the  most  honorable  debt  if  they  could  avoid  it :  usually  the 
latter  class  OAved  their  traders  more  than  the  thirty  dollars  they 
had  received.  Sometimes  for  some  years  a  detachment  of  sol- 
diers had  been  sent  up  from  Fort  Ridgely  to  preserve  order. 

In  1861  the  LoAver  Sioux  had  been  paid  June  27,  and  the 
Upper  Sioux  July  18.  On  the  seventeenth  of  June  the  ' '  St.  Peter 
Guards,"  a  ncAvly  recruited  company,  AA-hich  became  Company  E 
of  the  Second  Minnesota,  Captain  A.  K.  Skaro,  and  the  "Western 
Zouaves"  of  St.  Paul,  Avhich  became  Company  D  of  the  Second 
Regiment,  Captain  Horace  H.  Western,  arrived  by  the  steamer 
City  Belle  at  Fort  Ridgely  as  its  garrison,  taking  the  place  of 
Company  B,  Captain  Bromley,  and  Company  G,  Captain  McKune, 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  1_':. 

of  tile  First  Rcgiiiiriit.  wliicli  coiiiiiaiiies  had  been  stationed  at  the 
post  since  ^lay.  Captain  JleKtine's  company,  however,  remained 
at  Ridgely  until  July  6. 

About  tlie  first  of  .July  the  Indians  began  cei'tain  demonstra- 
tions indicating  that  they  would  make  serious  trouble  if  troops 
were  stationed  at  the  agencies  and  near  the  pay  tables  during 
the  coining  payments.  They  seemed  to  believe  that  the  presence 
of  soldiers  on  these  occasions  was  to  coerce  them  into  paying 
debts  to  the  traders,  and  they  were  opposed  to  the  idea.  They 
soon  organized  a  "soldiers'  lodge"  (or  a-ke-che-ta  tepee)  to  con- 
sider the  matter.  A  soldier's  lodge  Avas  composed  of  wai'riors 
that  were  not  chiefs  or  head  soldiers,  and  who  met  by  them.selves 
and  conducted  all  tlieir  deliberations  and  proceedings  in  strictest 
secrecy.  Tlieir  conclusions  had  to  be  carried  out  by  the  chiefs 
and  head  soldiers.  If  a  war  was  contemi)lated  tlie  soldiers'  lodge 
decided  the  matter,  and  fiom  its  deci.sion  there  was  no  appeal. 
Many  other  matters  concerning  the  band  at  large  were  settled 
by  the  a-ke-che-ta  tepee. 

It  was  believed  by  the  whites  that  the  soldiers'  lodges  on  the 
Sioux  reservation  had  determined  on  armed  resistance  to  the 
presence  of  troops  at  the  pay  tables.  Agent  Galbraith  and  other 
white  people  about  the  agencies  became  greatly  alarmed,  and 
June  2.")  the  agent  called  on  Fort  Ridgely  for  troops  to  come  at 
once  to  Redwood.  The  St.  Peter  Guards  were  promptly  sent 
and  remained  at  the  Tjower  Agency  until  after  the  payment, 
which  passed  off  quietly.  July  3  ]Major  (lalbraith  again  became 
alarmed  at  the  Indian  signs  and  called  for  a  strong  force  to  come 
to  Yellow  ^ledicine.  McKune's  company  of  the  First  Regiment 
and  Skaro's  of  the  Second  Regiment  were  at  once  started  from 
Fort  Ridgely,  btit  ten  miles  out  were  turned  back.  The  next 
day  Captain  Western's  company  started  for  the  Upper  Agency, 
and  on  the  sixth  was  overtaken  by  Captain  Skaro's  and  the  two 
companies  reached  the  Y''ellow  Medicine  on  the  seventh,  to  the 
great  relief  of  the  agent  and  the  other  government  employes  and 
traders  and  their  families,  who  were  in  great  fear  of  tlie  rebellious 
and  menacing  Indians,  chiefly  young  men  and  reckless  chai'acters. 
The  payment  at  the  Upper  Agency  was  without  disorder;  the 
Indians  paid  their  debts,  but  some  of  them  were  reportecl  as  say- 
ing that  '"this  is  the  last  time''  they  would  do  so. 

•luly  23  the  two  companies  of  the  Second  Regiment  nunched 
back  to  Fort  Ridgely.  August  13  detachments  of  both  companies, 
under  Captain  Western  and  jjieutenant  Cox,  were  sent  by  Lieuten- 
ant Colonel  George,  commanding  the  post  at  Fort  Ridgely,  to  the 
Spirit  lake  district,  in  Iowa,  to  protect  the  settlers  in  that  region 
from  the  depredations  of  certain  Indians,  who,  it  was  feared, 
contemplated  another  raid  of  the  Inkpadoota  character.  The 
command  was  absent  for  two  weeks. 


126  HISTORY  iW  R?:XVILLE  COT-XTY 

About  September  1  the  Indians  at  and  above  Yellow  Medi- 
cine became  turbulent  and  frightened.  On  the  eighth  Company 
E.  Captain  Skaro,  was  dispatched  from  Fort  Ridgely  and  reached 
the  Yellow  Medicine  on  the  tenth.  On  the  fifteenth  Lieutenant 
J.  C.  Donahower,  with  twelve  men  of  Company  E,  was  sent  to 
Big  Stone  lake  as  an  escort  to  the  government  farmer,  who  was 
directed  to  secure  from  the  Sissetons  about  the  lake  some  horses 
which  had  been  stolen  by  them  and  the  Y^anktonnais  from  white 
settlers  on  the  Missouri  in  southeastern  Dakota.  The  lieutenant 
returned  to  Yellow  Medicine  with  three  of  the  recovered  horses. 
The  Sissetons  and  Yanktons  stole  aboiit  thirty  horses  that  sum- 
mer from  Minnesota  and  Iowa  settlers.  September  23  Captain 
Skaro  left  Y^ellow  Medicine  for  Port  Snelling,  where  he  joined 
his  regiment,  which,  in  a  few  days,  was  sent  to  the  South. 

On  the  tenth  of  October,  1861,  Companies  A  and  B.  of  the 
Fourth  Regiment,  became  the  garrison  at  Fort  Ridgely.  Captain 
L.  L.  Baxter,  of  Company  A,  was  commander  of  the  post  until 
in  March.  1862,  when  the  companies  with  the  remainder  of  the 
regiment  were  sent  to  the  Union  army  in  front  of  Corinth.  IMis- 
sissippi. 

Upon  tlie  organization  of  tlie  Fifth  ^linncsota  Infantry,  ]\Iarch 
29,  1862,  three  of  the  companies  of  that  regiment  were  assigned 
to  garrison  duty  at  the  Minnesota  forts.  To  Fort  Abercrombie 
was  sent  Company  D,  Captain  John  Yander  Horek ;  to  Fort 
Ripley,  Company  C,  Captain  Hall ;  to  Fort  Ridgely,  Company  B, 
Captain  John  S.  Marsh.  As  Captain  Marsh  had  not  yet  joined 
the  company,  and  as  Lieutenant  Norman  K.  Culver  was  on  detail 
as  quartermaster,  Sergeant  Thomas  P.  Gere  led  the  company  on 
its  march,  in  zero  weather,  through  a  deep  snow,  from  Fort  Snell- 
ing to  Fort  Ridgely.  arriving  at  the  latter  jjost  March  25.  April 
10  Gere  became  second  lieutenant,  and  on  the  sixteenth  Captain 
Marsh  arrived  and  a.ssumed  command  of  the  post.  There  were 
then  at  the  fort,  in  addition  to  the  otficers  and  men  of  Company 
B,  Post  Surgeon  Dr.  Alfred  Muller,  Sutler  Ben  H.  Randall,  Inter- 
preter Peter  Quinn  and  Ordnance  Sergeant  John  Jones,  and  a 
few  soldiers'  families  living  in  cabins  nearby.  Sergeant  Jones 
was  in  charge  of  the  government  stores  and  of  six  pieces  of 
artillery  of  different  calibers,  the  relics  of  the  old  artillery  school 
at  the  post,  which  had  been  left  by  Major  Pembertou  when  he 
departed  for  Washington  with  the  last  battery  organization,  in 
February,  1861. 

The  IMinuesota  Indian  jjayments  for  1862  were  greatly  delayed. 
They  should  have  been  made  by  the  last  of  June,  but  the  govern- 
ment agents  were  not  prepared  to  make  them  until  the  middle  of 
August.  The  authorities  at  Washington  were  to  blame.  For 
some  weeks  they  dallied  with  the  question  whether  or  not  a  part 
at  least   of  the  payment  should  be  made  in  greenbacks.     Com- 


HISTORY  OF  REXVIIJ.K  CorXTV  127 

missioner  Dole,  Superintendent  Thompson  and  Agent  Galbraith 
protested  tliat  the  payment  sliould  be  in  specie.  Not  until  August 
8  did  Seeretarj^  Chase,  of  the  Treasury,  order  Assistant  Treasurer 
Cisco,  of  New  York,  to  send  the  Indians'  money  in  gold  coin  to 
Superintendent  Thompson  at  St.  Paul.  The  money — $71,000,  in 
kegs,  all  in  gold  coin — left  New  York  August  11  and  arrived  at 
St.  Paul  on  the  sixteenth.  Superintendent  Thompson  started  it 
the  next  day  for  the  Indian  country  in  chai-ge  of  C.  W.  Wykoff, 
E.  C.  Hatch,  Justus  C.  Ramsej',  A.  J.  Van  Vorhees  and  C.  M. 
Daily,  and  they,  with  the  wagons  coutainiug  the  preciovis  kegs, 
reached  Fort  Ridgely.  August  IS.  the  first  day  of  the  great  out- 
break. The  money  and  its  custodians  remained  within  the  fort 
until  Sibley's  army  came,  and  then  the  money,  in  the  original 
package  as  stated,  was  taken  liack  to  St.  Paul  by  tlie  parties 
named  M'ho  had  brought  it  up. 

Jleanwhile  there  was  a  most  unhappy  condition  of  affairs 
on  the  reservation.  The  Indians  had  been  eagerly  awaiting  the 
payment  since  the  tenth  of  June.  On  the  twenty-fifth  a  large 
delegation  of  the  chiefs  and  head  men  of  the  Sissetons  and  Wah- 
petons  visited  Yellow  Medicine  and  demanded  of  Agent  Galbraith 
to  be  informed  whether  tliey  and  their  people  were  to  get  any 
money  that  year;  they  alleged  they  had  been  told  by  certain 
white  men  that  they  would  not  be  paid  because  of  the  great  war 
then  in  progress  between  the  North  and  South.  The  agent  said 
the  payment  would  certainly  be  made  by  July  20.  He  then  gave 
them  some  pi-ovisions,  ammunition,  and  tobacco,  and  sent  them 
back  to  their  villages,  promising  to  notify  them  when  the  money 
came  of  the  exact  time  of  the  payment.  He  then  went  to  the 
Lower  Agency  and  counseled  the  people  there  as  he  had  the 
people  at  Yellow  Medicine,  adding  that  they  should  busy  them- 
selves in  cutting  hay  for  the  winter  and  in  keeping  the  birds 
from  the  corn.  These  Lower  Indians  had  worked  hard  during 
the  summer  but  their  crops  had  not  turned  out  well,  owing  to 
the  numerous  bird  and  insect  pests,  and  their  stock  of  provisions 
was  nearly  exhausted.  Major  Galbraith  therefore  issued  them  a 
supply  of  mess  pork,  flour,  salt,  tobacco  and  ammunition. 

Efforts  have  been  made  by  many  writers  to  show  that  the 
condition  of  the  Indians  was  no  worse  than  that  of  the  white  set- 
tler— that  the  Indian  had  a  better  chance  to  prosper  than  did 
the  white  pioneei'. 

But  the  circum.stances  were  much  different.  The  pioneer  had 
come  prepared  for  the  rigors  of  pioneer  life.  He  had  come  hop- 
ing to  better  himself.  It  is  true  that  in  coming  the  pioneer 
brought  eivili/.ation.  But  he  did  not  come  for  that  purpose. 
Much  as  we  admire  the  pioneer,  much  as  we  appreciate  the  great 
good  that  he  has  done,  deep  though  the  debt  we  owe  him  may 
be,  many  though  his  hardships  were,  nevertheless  there  can  be 


128  IIISTOKY  OF  KEN\'JLLE  CurXTV 

no  disguising  the  motive  that  broiiglit  hiiu.  He  came  because 
he  expected  to  be  more  prosperous  here  tliau  he  had  been  in  the 
place  from  ^vhence  he  came. 

The  Indian  liad  no  such  hope,  lie  was  not  equij)ped  for  the 
mode  of  life  that  Avas  thrust  upon  him.  He  had  owned  these 
stretches  of  land.  He  had  lived  in  contentment.  Through  the 
chase  lie  had  obtained  a  good  living.  When  he  gave  up  the  op- 
portunity of  Securing  his  accustomed  dail.\-  livelihood  he  was 
accepting  the  promise  of  a  great  nation  that  in  exchange  for 
his  land  he  would  be  paid  certain  sums  for  his  support.  He  had 
given  up  his  land,  he  had  given  up  his  mode  of  making  a  living, 
he  had  moved  to  the  reservation,  he  had  kept  his  part  of  the 
bargain;  yet  the  great  government  was  breaking  its  ]iart  of  the 
bargain  by  every  quibble  and  pretense  possible. 

The  sudden  change  of  life  had  brought  ructions  among  the 
Indians  tliemselves.  Some  seeing  that  the  white  man  by  trick- 
ery and  superior  strength,  was  boinid  to  rule,  urged  that  tlie 
Indians  make  the  best  of  a  bad  situation  and  take  uj)  the  white 
man's  ways.     These  Indians  were  called  the  farmer  Indians. 

There  were  others,  however,  who  saw  that  the  Indian  was  not 
adajited  to  the  ways  of  the  wliites.  and  saw  only  slavery  and  deg- 
radation in  the  Avays  of  the  farmer  Indians,  nmny  of  whom  were 
already  dying  of  tubercular  troubles  as  the  result  of  their  unac- 
customed mode  of  life.  These  blanket  Indians,  as  they  were 
called,  believed  in  the  old  ways.  They  wanted  the  government 
to  keep  its  promise  and  make  its  payments  according  to  agree- 
ment, after  whicli  they  wanted  the  government  to  leave  them  to 
lead  their  own  lives  in  their  own  way. 

So  these  were  arguments  among  the  Indians,  such  matters  as 
adopting  the  white  man's  habits,  clothing,  and  customs,  obeying 
instructions  about  not  fighting  the  Chippewas,  the  election  of 
chief  speaker  of  the  Medawakanton  band. 

In  the  spring  Little  Crow,  Big  Eagle,  and  Traveling  Hail 
were  candidates  for  speaker  of  the  band.  There  was  a  heated 
contest,  resulting  in  the  defeat  of  Little  Crow  to  his  great  morti- 
fication and  chagrin  and  that  of  his  followers,  who  constituted 
the  greater  part  of  the  blanket  Indian  party.  His  successful 
opponent.  Traveling  Hail,  was  a  civilization  Indian  and  a  firm 
friend  of  the  Avhites. 

In  June,  as  the  time  for  the  payment  approached,  a  number 
of  the  young  ]Medawakantons  and  Wahpakootas  formed  a  sol- 
diers' lodge,  to  consider  the  question  of  allowing  the  traders  to 
approach  the  pay  table.  The  chiefs  and  head  men,  according  to 
custom,  were  not  allowed  to  participate  in  the  deliberations  of 
this  peculiar  council,  although  they  were  expected  to  enforce 
its  decisions  and  decrees.  After  a  few  days  of  secret  consulta- 
tion the  council  sent  a  delegation  to  Fort  Ridgely,  which,  through 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  129 

Post  Interpreter  (.>>uiiiii,  asked  Captain  Marsh,  t}ie  commandant, 
not  to  send  any  soldiers  to  the  payment  to  help  the  traders  col- 
lect their  debts.  Captain  Marsh  replied  that  he  was  obliged  to 
have  some  of  his  soldiers  present  at  the  payment,  but  they  would 
not  be  used  unless  there  Avas  a  serious  disturbance  ol"  the  peace, 
and  on  no  account  M'ould  he  allow  them  to  be  employed  to  collect 
the  debts  owing  to  the  traders  by  the  Indians.  This  reply  greatly 
gratified  the  Indians  and  they  returned  to  their  villages  in  high 
glee  boasting  of  what  they  had  accomplished. 

The  traders  were  indignant  at  the  action  of  the  Indian  soldiers. 
They  vowed  not  to  sell  the  Indians  any  more  supplies  on  credit. 
"You  will  be  sorry  for  what  you  have  done,"  said  Andrew  J. 
Myrick,  who  was  in  charge  of  his  brother's  trading  house  at 
Redwood,  "you  will  be  sorry.  After  a  while  you  will  come  to  me 
and  beg  for  meat  and  flour  to  keep  you  and  your  wives  and  chil- 
dren from  starving  and  I  v/ill  not  let  you  have  a  thing.  You 
and  your  wives  and  children  may  starve,  or  eat  grass,  or  your 
own  filth."  The  traders  tried  to  induce  Captain  Marsh  to  re- 
voke his  decision  in  their  favor,  but  he  would  make  them  no 
promises. 

In  July  the  Lower  warriors  convened  another  soldiers'  lodge. 
This  time  the  subject  of  discussion  was  whether  or  not  they 
should  go  on  the  war-path  against  the  Chippewas,  who  had  re- 
cently given  a  lot  of  trouble.  Incidentally  the  trouble  about 
their  debts  came  up,  and  it  was  finally  decided  that  if  the  sol- 
diers guarded  the  pay  tables,  and  their  bayonets  were  employed 
as  instruments  for  the  collection  of  debts,  the  Indians  would  be 
forced  to  submit.  This  was  the  soldiers'  lodge  about  whose  pur- 
pose and  plans  so  many  startling  and  alarming  statements  were 
afterwards  made  bj-  the  whites.  At  the  time  too,  the  whites  were 
afraid.  On  one  occasion  the  Indians  went  down  to  Fort  Ridgely 
and  asked  to  be  allowed  to  play  ball  (or  la  crosse)  on  the  parade 
s^rounds.  Captain  Marsh  refused  to  allow  this,  and  it  was  after- 
wards printed  that  on  the  occasion  mentioned  the  Indians  had 
planned  and  schemed  to  get  into  the  fort  by  strategem,  and  then 
massacre  the  garrison  and  every  white  person  in  the  neighbor- 
hood. There  was  not  the  least  ground  for  this  false  and  unjust 
suspicion. 

The  Upi^er  Indians  were  in  far  worse  moods  than  their  breth- 
ren at  Redwood.  In  addition  to  their  dissatisfaction  in  regard 
to  the  delay  in  the  payment, — for  they  needed  assistance  most 
sorelj' — they  were  incensed  against  the  white  authorities  who  had 
forbidden  them  to  make  war  on  the  Chippewas.  The  latter  made 
frequent  forays  upon  the  Sioux  of  the  upper  country.  In  May 
a  hunting  party  of  Red  Iron's  band  was  attacked  on  the  Upper 
Pomme  de  Terre  by  a  band  of  Chippewas  and  chased  from  the 
country,  losing  two  men  killed.     About  the  twentieth  of  July 


130  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COTXTY 

the  Chippewas  slipped  down  and  killed  two  Sionx  within  eighteen 
miles  of  Y'ellow  Medicine. 

These  instances  stirred  the  blood  of  the  Upper  bands  and  four 
days  later  several  hundred  of  them  formed  a  war  party  and, 
stripped  and  painted,  and  yelling  and  shouting,  marched  by  the 
Agency  buildings  and  the  camp  of  the  soldiers  and  down  the 
Minnesota  in  the  direction  of  Major  Brown's  stone  mansion  and 
big  farm,  near  where  the  Chippewas  were  supposed  to  be.  The 
majority  of  the  Indians  were  mounted,  but  those  who  were  on 
foot  went  galloping  along  by  the  side  of  the  cantering  ponies  and 
kept  up  with  them  easily.  The  Chippewas  had  retreated  and 
could  not  be  overtaken. 

About  the  fifteenth  of  August,  only  a  few  days  before  the 
outbreak,  a  man  and  his  son  of  Red  Iron's  band  were  killed  by 
the  Chippewas,  while  hunting,  a  few  miles  nortli  of  the  river. 
Their  bodies  were  taken  back  to  their  village  and  exposed  in 
public  for  a  whole  day.  Hundreds  of  Sioux  eame  to  see  them. 
A  war  party  of  a  dozen  or  more  set  out  after  the  murderers,  fol- 
lowed them  up  into  the  Otter  Tail  Lake  eoniitry  and  did  not  re- 
turn to  the  reservation  until  nearly  two  weeks  after  the  outbreak. 

Certain  writers  have  frequentl.y  declared  that  the  outbreak 
was  a  long  meditated  and  carefully  planned  movement  of  the 
Sioux  and  Chippewas  in  comliination :  that  Little  Crow  and  Hole- 
iu-the-Day  were  in  constant  communication  and  engaged  in  pre- 
paring for  the  uprising  for  weeks  before  it  occurred.  The  inci- 
dents given  of  the  tragic  events,  the  homicides,  and  tlie  fights 
between  the  two  tribes  up  to  the  very  date  of  the  Sioux  outbreak 
prove  the  absurd  falsity  of  the  claim  that  they  were  engaged 
as  allies  in  plotting  against  the  whites. 

In  the  first  part  of  July  in  this  memorable  .vear  a  brief  pei-iod 
of  excitement  and  danger  began  at  the  Yellow  Medicine  Agency. 
The  Upper  Indians  became  turbulent  and  menacing,  and  serious 
results  were  avoided  only  by  the  greatest  care  and  the  intelli- 
gent exercise  of  soimd  judgment. 

As  early  as  June  18.  Captain  Marsh,  in  command  at  Fort 
Ridgely,  deemed  it  best,  in  anticipation  of  trouble  among  the 
Indians  at  the  i)ayinent.  to  strengthen  his  forces.  On  the 
eighteenth  Captain  Hall  ordered  Lieutenant  T.  J.  Sheehan.  witli 
fifty  men  of  Company  B  of  the  Fifth  Regiment,  from  Fort  Ripley 
to  reenforee  the  garrison  at  Fort  Ridgely.  The  Lieutenant  an<l 
liis  men  ai'rived  on  tlie  twenty-eightli,  and  the  next  day  Captain 
Marsh  started  them  and  fifty  men  of  Company  B,  under  Lieu- 
tenant T.  P.  Gere  for  the  Yellow  Medicine,  which  post  they 
reached  July  2.  They  carried  with  them  a  piece  of  artillery,  a 
twelve  pound  mountain  howitzer,  and  plenty  of  ammunition. 
Lieutenants  Sheehan  and  Gere  were  directed  to  obey  the  orders 
of  Agent   Galbraith   and  to  preserve  peace  and  protect  Ignited 


HISTOHV  OK  KK.Wll.l.K  (orXTV  131 

States  property,  "during  the  time  of  tlie  annuitj-  payment  for  tlie 
present  year."  Sheelian  ranked  Gere,  and  was  given  connnand 
of  the  detachment. 

When  the  .soldiers  reached  the  Yellow  Medicine,  they  found 
the  Upper  Indians  already  arriving  in  large  numbers  in  antici- 
pation of  the  annuity  payment,  which  was  the  prevailing  and 
aksorbing  topic.  On  the  eighth  a  detachment  of  warriors, 
through  Interpreter  Quinu,  had  a  l(>ngthy  interview  with  the 
young  officers.  The  Indians  said:  "We  are  the  braves  who  do 
the  fighting  for  our  peoj)!!'.  We  sold  our  land  to  the  Great 
Father,  but  we  don't  get  the  pay  for  it.  The  traders  are  allowed 
to  sit  at  the  pay  table,  and  they  take  all  our  money.  We  wish 
you  to  keep  the  traders  away  from  the  pay  table,  and  as  we  are 
now  hiingry  we  want  you  to  make  us  a  present  of  a  beef."  The 
lieutenant  answered  that  the  payment  regulations  were  in  charge 
of  Agent  Galbraith,  whose  oi'ders  they  must  obey;  that  they  had 
no  beeves  or  other  provisions,  save  their  own  army  rations,  which 
they  needed  for  themselves,  but  that  they  would  toll  the  agent 
what  the  warriors  had  said. 

Every  day  brought  accessions  to  the  number  of  Indians  about 
the  Agency.  On  July  14,  when  Agent  Galbraith  arrived,  he 
Avas  astonished  and  alarmed  to  find  that  nearly  all  of  the  Upper 
Indians  had  arrived,  that  they  were  greatly  destitute,  and  that 
they  were  clamoring  for  "Wo-kay-zhu-zhu-!  Wo-kay-zhu-zhu-, " 
the  payment !  the  payment !  The  agent  asked  them  reproach- 
fully: "Why  have  you  come?  I  sent  you  away  and  told  you  not 
to  come  back  until  I  sent  for  you  again.  I  have  not  sent  for 
3^011 — why  have  you  come?"  The  Indians  i-ci)lie(l :  "It  was  such 
a  long  time  that  we  did  not  hear  from  you.  that  we  feared  some- 
thing was  wrong.  Then,  because  of  the  war  in  the  south,  some 
white  men  say  that  we  will  not  get  our  money  at  all.  We  want  to 
find  out  about  all  this.  We  are  destitute  and  hungry.  You  may 
not  have  money,  but  you  have  provisions  in  that  big  house,  and 
this  is  the  time  of  the  year  that  we  should  receive  both  our  money 
and  supplies;  we  want  some  of  the  supplies  now.  We  will  not 
leave  our  camps  until  we  get  our  money  and  all." 

Major  Oalbi-aith  sent  word  of  his  predicament  to  Superin- 
tendent Thompson  and  asked  for  instructions.  The  superintend- 
ent answered  that  the  agent  was  on  the  ground  and  must  do  as 
he  thought  best.  The  agent  then  issued,  in  scanty  quantities, 
some  rations  of  pork  and  flour  and  some  cloth  and  other  sup- 
plies to  the  most  destitute  and  deserving.  The  Indians  were 
grateful,  and  gave  numerous  dances  and  other  entertainments 
as  returns  for  the  favors. 

To  add  to  Major  Galbraith 's  perplexities,  the  presence  of  a 
large  number  of  Yanktonnais  and  other  non-annuity  Indians  was 
reported.    On  the  day  after  his  ai-rival  he  inspected  the  various 


132  HISTORY  OF  REXYILLE  COl'NTY 

camps  and  found,  to  liis  disgust  and  dismay,  that  there  were  659 
lodges  of  annuity  Indians,  78  lodges  of  Yanktonnais,  37  of  Cut 
Heads,  and  five  of  uniudentified  people,  said  to  be  Winnebagoes. 
Tliiic  were  more  than  4,000  annuity  Sioux  and  about  1,000  Yank- 
tonians  and  Cut  Heads.  Even  a  portion  of  Inkpadoota's  band 
was  reported  to  be  out  on  the  prairies. 

By  -July  38,  the  Indians  had  eaten  nearly  all  of  their  dogs 
and  everything  else  of  an  edible  character  in  their  camps,  and 
there  was  actual  starvation  among  them.  Still  there  was  no 
payment  and  no  issue  of  supplies.  Down  in  the  Minnesota  bot- 
toms, almost  hidden  in  the  high  and  succident  grass,  were  hun- 
dreds of  fat  cattle  belonging  to  the  settlers  and  to  be  had  for 
the  killing,  and  less  than  a  day's  march  away  were  provisions  of 
other  kinds,  enough  to  feed  an  armj',  and  to  be  had  for  the  tak- 
ing. Lieuttniant  Slieehan  feared  that  the  strain  would  not  en- 
dure much  longer,  and  sent  down  to  Ridgely  and  brought  up 
another  howitzer.  Galbraith,  however,  did  not  believe  there 
was  any  danger,  as  the  Indians  were  apparently  quiet  and  peace- 
able. On  the  twenty-first  the  lieutenants  interviewed  Galbraith 
and  plainly  told  him  that  did  he  not  at  once  relieve  the  most 
pressing  necessities  of  the  Indians,  he  Avould  be  responsible  for 
any  casualty  that  might  ensue.  The  agent  agreed  that  he  would 
at  once  take  a  census  of  the  annuity  people,  issue  an  abundant 
supply  of  provisions,  and  then  send  them  back  to  their  villages 
to  await  the  arrival  of  their  money. 

On  the  twenty-sixth  the  counting  took  place.  The  enumera- 
tion was  confined  to  the  annuity  Indians ;  the  Yanktonnais  and 
Cut  Heads  were  ignored.  All  of  the  people  eligible  to  payment 
were  assembled  near  the  Government  buildings,  and  a  cordon  of 
soldiers  thrown  about  the  entire  concourse.  Each  sub-chief  called 
upon  the  heads  of  families  in  his  band  to  give  the  number  of 
persons  in  their  respective  families  and  when  the  number  was 
announced  those  composing  it  were  sent  out  of  the  lines  to  their 
camps.    The  enumeration  occupied  twelve  and  a  half  hours. 

The  Indian  census  had  been  taken,  but  still  Agent  Galbraith 
made  no  issue  of  provisions,  as  he  had  promised.  The  man  seemed 
beside  himself,  in  the  perplexities  of  his  situation.  He  was  a 
drinking  man,  and  it  is  said  that  he  was  intoxicated  a  great  por- 
tion of  the  time  in  an  effort  to  meet  the  dangers  which  confronted 
him  with  a  "Dutch  courage." 

The  next  day  after  the  census  was  taken,  or  July  27,  Major 
Galbraith  sent  Lieutenant  Sheehan,  with  fourteen  soldiers,  four 
citizens  and  the  ever  faithful  Good  Voiced  Hail,  as  a  guide,  on  a 
futile  and  foolish  chase  after  the  half  dozen  of  Inkpadoota's  band 
reported  to  be  hovering  about  the  Dakota  boundary,  south  and 
■west  of  Lake  Benton.  The  men  were  all  mounted  and  had  two 
baggage  wagons.     After  scouring  the  country  in  a  vain  search 


iiisTonv  OK  i{i:.\\ii,i.K  corxTV  13;{ 

foi'  trails  or  eveu  signs,  the  detachment  set  out  on  tlir  icturn 
trip  and  reached  Yellow  Medicine  August  3.  The  failure  to  over- 
take the  outlaws  had  a  bad  cttVct  upon  the  Agency  Indians,  who 
derided  the  work  of  tlie  soldiers  and  were  confirmed  in  their  be- 
lief that  in  matters  pertaining  to  warfare  of  any  sort.  Indians 
could  easil.y  outwit  Avhite  men. 

Tlie  fourth  of  August  came  but  no  paymaster  was  in  sight, 
ami  tliiTc  had  been  no  issue  of  provisions,  save  a  few  pieces  of 
hard  tack,  for  two  weeks.  Early  in  the  morning  of  the  fourth  the 
Indians  sent  two  messengers  to  Lieutenant  Sheehan  and  informed 
him  that  later  in  the  day,  they  were  coming  to  the  Agency  to 
fire  a  salute  and  make  a  great  demonstration  for  the  entertain- 
ment of  the  white  peojile,  and  especially  the  soldiers.  "Don't  be 
afraid,"'  they  said,  ''for  although  we  will  do  a  lot  of  shooting 
we  won't  hurt  anybody." 

About  9  o'clock  till'  soldiiTs  were  startled  to  see  that,  sud- 
denly aiiil  -without  having  previously  been  seen,  the  Indians  had 
surrounded  the  caiini  and  were  pointing  guns  at  them.  The 
sentinels  or  camp  guards  were  pushed  fi'om  their  beats  and  told 
to  go  to  their  tents  and  stay  there,  and  Private  James  Foster, 
of  Com[)aii>'  B.  had  ills  gun  wrested  from  him.  At  the  same  time 
several  hundred  mounted  and  armed  warriors  galloped  up,  yell- 
ing ami  shooting,  and  began  riding  wildly  about.  The  real  ob- 
ject of  this  startling  and  thiilling  dciiu)iistration  was  not  appar- 
ent until  th(>  Indian  leader  dashed  uj)  to  the  Avest  end  of  the  Gov- 
ernment warehouse  au<l  struck  its  big  door  a  i-esoundiiig  blow 
with  his  tomahawk.  \'ery  soon  the  door  was  broken  down  and 
the  Indians  rushed  in  and  began  cari-ying  away  the  big  fat  sacks 
of  flour  and  the  fatter  slices  of  pork. 

According  to  Lieutenant  Gere's  account,  the  situation  was 
now  pei'ilous  in  the  extrenu'.  The  soldiers  were  outnumbered 
seven  to  one  by  the  I'xeited  wai'riors,  who  wei-e  priming,  cocking, 
and  aiming  their  guns  only  a  hundred  feet  away.  Pri\ate  Josiah 
"W^eakley,  of  ('om])any  ('.  |)reeipitated  a  crisis.  An  Indian  had 
pointed  a  gun  at  him,  and  the  soldier  swore  a  big  mouth-filling 
oath  and  hastily  capped  and  ainu'd  his  gun  at  the  savage  to  re- 
sent the  insult,  lie  was  about  to  pull  the  trigger.  Avlien  Jim 
Ybright  stl'nek  down  the  gnu.  and  thus  prevented  the  destruc- 
tion of  the  entire  command  and  of  every  other  white  person  at 
or  about  the  Agency,  h'or  at  that  critical  moment  had  a  single 
lujstile  shot  been  fired,  by  either  white  num  or  Indian,  the  great 
savage  outbreak  of  a  fortnight  later  would  have  begun  and  its 
first  victims  would  have  been  the  peopl(>  of  Yellow  ]\[ediciiu'. 

Lieutenant  Sheehan  ordei'i'd  his  litth'  eonimand  to  "fall  in," 
and  pi'oniptly  ever\'  man,  gun  in  hand,  si)rang  into  line.  There 
Avas  no  shrinking  and  ajiparently  no  fear.  It  was  soon  realized 
that  the  ob.ject  o\'  the  Indian  attack  Avas  to  secure  the  iivovisions 


134  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COFNTY 

in  the  warehouse  M-herewith  to  feed  themselves  and  their  famish- 
ing women  and  children.  Had  the  mnrder  of  the  whites  been  in- 
tended, tlie  bloody  work  would  liave  been  begun  at  once.  It 
seemed  certain  that  the  Indians  would  not  fire  the  first  sliot. 

But  the  peace  must  be  preserved,  even  if  it  had  to  be  fought 
for,  and  the  Government  property  must  be  protected  at  all  haz- 
ards. Lieutenant  Gere  had  direct  cliarge  of  the  two  cannon,  and 
tlie  men  of  his  company  had  been  trained  by  old  Sergeant  Jones, 
at  Ridgley,  to  liaudle  them.  Taking  tlie  tarpaidin  cover  from  one  of 
the  guns,  wliicli  was  loaded  with  canister.  Lieutenant  (iere  aimed 
it  at  the  warehouse  door,  through  which  the  Indians  were  crowd- 
ing, going  for  and  returning  with  sacks  of  floiu'.  From  the 
cannon  to  the  warehouse  the  distance  was  not  more  than  150 
yards:  the  ground  was  level,  and  the  range  point  blank. 

Instantly  there  were  yells  of  surprise  and  shouts  of  warn- 
ing, and  the  Indians  fell  l)aek  on  either  side  of  the  line  of  fire 
and  the  range  of  the  gun,  leaving  a  wide  and  distinct  land  or 
avenue  between  the  cannon  and  the  warehouse  door.  Lieutenant 
Sheehan  now  appeared  with  a  dt'tachiiient  of  sixteen  men,  and 
that  brave  soldier.  Sergeant  Solon  A.  Trescott,  of  Company  B, 
at  their  head.  Down  the  lane  with  its  living  walls  marched  Shee- 
han and  his  little  band  straight  to  tlie  warehouse.  Reaching  the 
building  the  lieutenant  went  at  once  to  the  office  of  Ma.ior  Gal- 
braith,  too  impotent  through  fear,  drink  and  excitement  for  any 
good.  Sergeant  Trescott  and  his  ineii  summarily  drove  every 
Indian  from  and  away  from  the  warehouse.  Only  aliout  thirty 
sacks  of  flour  had  been  taken. 

Lieutenant  Sheehan  stoutly  (hniiamled  that  (lalbraith  at  once 
give  to  the  Indians  the  provisions  which  really  belonged  to  them, 
and  thereby  avert  not  only  starvation  but  ju'obably  war.  But 
the  agent,  now  that  the  soldiers  were  in  line  and  their  leader  in 
his  presence,  became,  through  his  "Dutch  courage,""  very  digni- 
fied and  brave.  He  said  that  if  he  made  any  concessions  to  the 
Indians  they  would  become  bolder  in  the  future,  that  tlie  savages 
must  be  made  to  respect  his  iiosition  and  authority  as  their  agent, 
and  not  attempt  to  coerce  him  into  doing  his  duty.  He  then  de- 
manded that  Lieutenant  Sheehan  should  take  his  soldiers  and 
make  the  Indians  return  the  flour  they  had  seized  and  which  their 
women  were  already  making  into  bread. 

Sheehan  had  his  Irish  spirit  thoroughly  aroused,  and  at  last 
forced  the  agent  to  agree  to  issue  three  days"  rations  of  flour  and 
pork  to  the  Indians,  if  they  would  return  to  their  cauii)s  and  send 
their  chiefs  for  a  council  the  next  day.  ^Meanwhile  the  Indians 
had  assembled  by  bands  about  the  warehouse  and  were  addressed 
by  their  chiefs  and  head  soldiers,  all  of  Avhom  said,  in  effect: 
"The  provisions  in  that  big  house  have  been  sent  to  us  by  our 
Great  Father  at  Washington,  but  our  agent  will  not  let  us  have 


HISTORY  OF  IJKWII.I.K  (OrXTV  135 

tlieiii,  altlioufrli  our  wives  ami  cliihlrcii  arc  starving.  These  sup- 
plies are  ours  and  we  have  a  right  to  take  them.  The  soldiers 
sympathize  -with  us  and  have  already  divided  their  rations  with 
us,  and  when  it  comes  to  the  point  they  will  not  shoot  at  us,  but 
if  they  do,  we  can  soon  wipe  them  off  the  earth." 

The  three  days'  rations  were  issued,  but  the  Indians  deelinea 
to  return  to  their  camps,  unless  they  should  first  receive  all  that 
was  due  them.  They  again  became  turbulent  and  threatened  to 
again  attack  and  loot  the  warehouse.  Lieutenant  Sheehan  moved 
up  his  entire  command  directly  in  front  of  the  warehouse  and 
went  into  fighting  line  with  his  two  cannons  "in  battery."  Then 
the  Indians  concluded  to  forego  any  hostile  movement  and  re- 
turned to  their  camps.  Their  three  days'  i-ations  had  been  well 
nigh  all  devoured  before  midnight. 

Agent  Galbraith  continued  in  his  excited  mood  and  eccentric 
conduct.  Months  afterward,  in  writing  his  official  report  and  de- 
scribing the  events  of  the  fourth  of  August,  he  declared  that  when 
the  Indians  assaulted  the  warehouse  they  "shot  down  the  Amer- 
ican flag"  waving  over  it.  His  statement  was  accepted  by 
Heard,  who.  in  his  liistoi-y,  states  that  the  flag  was  "cut  down." 
Lieutenant  Sheehan  and  the  men  who  were  under  him  at  Yel- 
low Medicine  all  assert  that  the  flag  was  neither  shot  down  or 
cut  down  or  injured  in  any  way,  but  that  when  the  trouble  was 
over  for  the  day  the  baiuu>r  was  "still  there."  August  5  the 
agent  was  still  beside  himself.  lie  declared  that  the  loyal  old 
Peter  Quinn — who  had  lived  in  Minnesota  among  his  white  breth- 
ren for  neai'ly  forty  years  and  was  always  faithful  to  his  trust, 
even  to  his  death  in  the  slaughter  at  Redwood  Ferry — was  not 
to  be  trusted  to  connnunieate  with  tlie  Indians.  He  ordered  Lieii- 
tcnant  Sheehan,  who  had  brought  Quinn  from  Ridgely,  to  send 
him  back  and  he  requested  that  the  loyal  old  man  be  "put  off 
the  reservation." 

Sheehan  could  bear  with  the  agent  no  longer.  He  accommo- 
dated him  by  sending  Quinn  away,  but  he  sent  the  old  interpreter 
with  Lieutenant  Gere,  whom  he  directed  to  hasten  to  Fort  Ridge- 
ly, describe  the  situation  to  Captain  Marsh,  and  urge  that  officer 
to  come  at  once  to  Yellow  ]Mcdicin(>  and  help  manage  Galbraith. 
The  captain  reached  Yellow  Medicine  at  1 :30  p.  m.  on  the  sixth, 
having  come  from  Fort  Ridgely,  forty-five  miles  distant,  by 
buggy  in  seven  hours. 

August  7,  Galbraith  having  been  forced  to  agree  to  a  sensi- 
ble course  of  action,  he.  Captain  Marsh  and  Missionary  Riggs  held 
a  council  with  the  Indians.  The  agent  had  sent  to  Ilazehvood  foi- 
Mr.  Riggs  and  when  the  good  preacher  came,  said  to  him  appeal- 
ingly:  "If  there  is  anything  between  the  lids  of  the  Bible  that 
will  meet  this  ease,  I  wish  you  would  use  it."  The  missionary 
assured  the  demoralized  agent  that  the  Bible  has  something  in 


136  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

it  to  meet  even-  case  and  any  emergency.  He  then  repaired  to 
Standing  Buffalo's  tepee  and  an-auged  for  a  general  council  that 
afternoon.  The  mfssionary  gives  this  description  of  the  pro- 
ceedings : 

"The  chiefs  and  braves  gathered.  The  young  men  who  had 
broken  down  the  warehouse  door  were  there.  The  Indians  ar- 
gued that  they  were  starving  and  that  the  flour  and  pork  in  the 
warehouse  had  been  purcliased  with  their  money.  It  was  wrong 
to  break  in  the  door,  but  now  they  would  authorize  the  agent 
to  take  of  their  money  and  repair  the  door.  The  agent  then 
agreed  to  give  them  some  provisions  and  insisted  on  their  going 
home  which  they  promised  to  do." 

Captain  Marsh  demanded  that  all  of  the  annuity  goods,  which 
for  so  long  had  been  wrongfully  withheld,  should  be  issued  im- 
mediately, and  Reverend  Riggs  endorsed  the  demand.  Galbraith 
consented,  and  the  Indians  promised  that  if  the  issues  were  made 
they  would  return  to  their  homes  and  there  remain  until  the 
agent  advised  them  that  their  money  had  come.  The  agreement 
was  faithfully  carried  out  by  both  parties  to  it.  The  issue  of 
goods  began  immediately  and  was  continued  tlirough  the  eighth 
and  ninth.  By  the  tenth  all  the  Indians  had  disappeared  and  on 
the  twelfth  word  was  received  that  Standing  Buffalo's  and  the 
Charger's  band,  with  many  others,  had  gone  out  into  Dakota  on 
buffalo  hunts.  On  the  eleventh  the  soldiers  left  Yellow  ^Medicine 
for  Fort  Eidgely,  arriving  at  that  post  in  the  evening  of  the 
following  day. 

All  prospects  of  future  trouble  with  the  Indians  seemed  now 
to  have  disappeared.  Only  the  Upper  Indians  had  made  mis- 
chief; the  Lower  Indians  had  takeu  no  part  nor  manifested 
any  sympathy  with  what  their  brethren  had  done,  but  had  re- 
mained quietly  in  their  villages  engaged  in  their  ordinary  avo- 
cations. Many  had  been  at  work  in  the  hay  meadoMs  and  corn- 
fields. All  the  Indians  had  apparently  decided  to  wait  patiently 
for  the  annuity  monej'.  This  agreeable  condition  of  affairs  might 
have  been  established  six  weeks  earlier,  but  for  the  unwise,  yet 
well  meant  work  of  Agent  Galbraith,  who  should  have  done  at 
fir.st  Avhat  he  did  at  last. 

Believing  that  no  good  reason  any  longer  existed  for  the  pres- 
ence of  so  many  troops  at  Fort  Ridgely,  Captain  Marsh  ordered 
Lieutenant  Sheehan  to  lead  Company  C  of  the  Fifth  iliiniesota 
back  to  Fort  Ripley,  on  the  Upper  Mississippi,  the  march  to  be 
made  on  foot,  across  the  country,  by  the  most  direct  route.  At 
7  o'clock  on  the  morning  of  August  17,  the  detachment  set  out, 
encamping  the  first  night  at  Gumming 's  Grove,  near  the  present 
site  of  "Winthrop,  Sibley  county. 

After  the  troubles  at  Yellow  Medicine  were  over  a  number 
of    discharged    government    employes,    French-Canadians,    and 


HISTORY  OP  RENVILLE  COUNTY  137 

mixed  blood  Sioux  expressed  a  desire  to  enlist  in  the  Union  army, 
nndei-  President  Lincoln's  call  for  "oOO.OOO"  more. 

The  Government  \vas  advancing  iorty  dollars  of  tlifir  pros- 
pective bounty  and  pay  to  recruits,  and  as  quite  a  number  of  the 
would-be  volunteers  were  out  of  employment  and  money,  the 
casli  offer  was  perliaps  to  some  as  much  of  a  stimulus  to  enlist 
as  was  their  patriotism.  A  very  gallant  frontiersman  named 
James  fjorman,  bnsicd  liimself  with  seenring  recruits  for  the 
pioneer  company,  which,  because  most  of  its  numbers  were  from 
Renville  county,  was  called  the  "Renville  Rangers. ""  Captain 
]\Iarsh  had  encouraged  the  organi/ation,  and  Agent  Galbi-aith 
had  used  all  of  his  intluenee  in  its  behalf.  August  12  tliirtx'  men 
enlisted  in  the  Rangers  at  Yellow  Medicine  and  on  the  foiii'teentli 
twenty  more  joined  the  company  at  Rethvood.  Galbraith  and 
Gorman,  with  their  fifty  men.  left  Redwood  Agency  for  Fort 
Snelling,  where  it  M'as  expected  tlie  company  would  join  one  of 
the  new  regiments  then  being  formed.  At  Fort  Ridgely  Captain 
Marsh  furnished  the  Rangers  quarters  and  rations  and  sent  Ser- 
geant James  G.  McGrew  and  four  other  soldiers  with  them  on 
their  ■way  to  the  fort.  At  New  Ulm  they  received  a  fi'W  nu'n, 
and  the  entire  eompaii\ ,  in  wagons,  reached  St.  Peter  in  the  after- 
noon of  the  eighteenth. 

^Miicli  that  is  false  has  been  written  regarding  the  cause  of 
the  Sioux  Outbreak,  many  idle  speculations  have  been  indjlished 
as  absolute  fact. 

There  certainly  was  no  conspiracy  between  the  Chiii])ewas  and 
the  Sioux;  there  were  certainly  no  )'e[>i'esentatives  of  the  southern 
Confederacy  urging  the  Indians  to  revolt.  Little  Crow  was  most 
assuredly  guiltless  of  having  long  i)lannetl  a  general  massacre. 
Possibly,  for  such  is  liuman  nature,  the  Indians,  smarting  under 
untold  wrongs,  may  have  considered  the  possibilities  of  driving 
out  the  Avliites  and  resuming  their  own  ancient  freedom.  But 
no  details  had  been  i)laiuu'd  upon.  'I'lie  officials  at  AVashington 
and  their  representatives  on  the  reservation  were  wholely  and 
solely  responsible  for  the  great  massacre.  The  spark  which 
lighted  the  conflagration  was  tiie  lawless  act  of  a  few  renegades, 
but  there  woidd  have  been  no  blaze  from  this  spark  had  not  the 
whites,  througii  guile  and  dishonesty,  been  gi'adually  increasing 
the  disgust,  discontent  and  resentment  in  the  Red  ilen's  breast. 

The  editor  of  tliis  work  holds  no  brief  for  the  Indian.  No  one 
realizes  more  than  he  the  sufferings  of  those  iinu)eent  settlers, 
those  martyrs  to  civilization,  who  underwent  untold  horrors  at 
the  hands  of  a  savage  and  infuriated  race.  In  savage  or  civil- 
ized Avarfare,  no  acts  of  lieartless  criielty  can  be  excused  or  con- 
doned. In  the  wrongs  to  which  the  Indian  liad  been  subjected 
the  noble  settlers  of  Renville  county  were  guiltless. 

Civilization  can  never  repay  tlu'  Renville  county  pioneers  for 


138  IIISTOHV  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

tlie  part  tliey  Jiail  in  extending  further  tlie  dominion  of  the  white 
man,  for  the  part  they  took  iu  bringing  tlie  couuty  from  a  wild 
wilderness  to  a  place  of  peace,  prosperity  and  contentment. 

The  treatment  of  the  Indian  by  the  settlers  of  this  county  was 
ever  considerate  and  kind,  the  red  man  was  continually  fed  and 
warmed  at  Eenville  county  cabins.  There  is  no  condoning  the 
terrible  slaughter  of  these  innocent,  kind  hearted,  hospitable 
whites  who  in  seeking  their  home  in  this  rich  valley  were  not 
unmindful  of  the  needs  of  their  untutored  predecessors. 

It  should,  however,  be  remembered  that  however  cruel,  lust- 
ful and  bloodthirsty  the  Indian  showed  himself  to  be,  base, 
treacherous,  barbarous  as  his  conduct  was,  cowardly  and  mur- 
derous though  his  uprising  against  the  innocent  j)ioueers ;  never- 
theless not  his  alone  was  the  guilt.  The  otSeials  who  tricked 
and  robbed  him,  whose  stupidity  and  ineiBciency  incensed  him, 
whose  lack  of  honor  embittered  him  against  all  whites,  they  too, 
must  bear  a  part  of  the  blame  for  that  horrible  uprising. 

It  should  be  remembered  too,  that  the  white  soldiers  battling 
for  a  great  nation  taught  the  Indian  no  better  method  than  the 
Indian  himself  practiced.  The  Indian  violated  the  flag  of  truce, 
and  likewise  the  white  soldiers  fired  on  Indians  who  came  to 
parley  under  the  white  flag.  The  Indians  killed  women  and  chil- 
dren, the  white  soldiers  likewise  turned  their  guns  against  the 
tepees  that  contained  the  Indian  squaws  and  papooses.  The  In- 
dian mutilated  the  bodies  of  those  who  fell  beneath  his  anger,  and 
there  were  likewise  whites  who  scalped  and  mutilated  the  bodies 
of  the  Indians  they  killed.  The  Indian  fired  on  unprotected 
white  men,  and  there  were  Avhite  men  too,  who  fired  on  iu:pro- 
teeted  Indians  who  had  no  part  in  the  outbreak. 

Neither  side  was  guiltless.  And  the  innocent  settlers,  espe- 
cially those  heroic  families  living  along  the  streams  of  Renville 
county  paid  the  horrible  price  for  the  crimes  of  both  races. 


^'^."o: 


To   -   CyA  tt         <l  It-ti-    _ 

^'tJ  }e     C  ro^/  - 


jPUiLlC  LIBRARy] 


ASTOR,    LENOX   \ND     l 
ITILDEN     ■•OffNOAnoNsI 


HISTOK'V  OK  HK.WII.l.K  Cor.XTV  139 

CHAPTER  X. 
THE  SIOUX  OUTBREAK. 

Day  Dawns  Calm  and  Beautiful— Church  Services— The  Rice 
Creek  Renegades  Rob  a  Hen's  Nest — Quarrel  Among  Braves 
as  to  Their  Courage— Killing  Starts— Miscreants  TeU  Their 
Story  to  the  Chiefs— Little  Crow  Bows  to  the  Inevitable  and 
Reluctantly  Consents  to  Lead  His  Men  to  Battle — General 
Massacre  Begins— Weeks  of  Horror— Battles  and  Murders- 
Indians  Subdued — Little  Crow  Killed — Peace. 

Sunday,  August  17,  18()2,  was  a  beautiful  day  in  western  Min- 
nesota. The  sun  shone  brightly,  the  weatlier  was  warm,  and  the 
skies  were  blue.  Tlie  eorn  was  in  the  green  ear  stage ;  the  wild 
gra.ss  was  ripe  for  liic  liay  mowing;  the  wlieat  and  oats  were 
ready  to  be  harvested. 

A  large  majority  of  the  settlers  and  pioneers  in  the  Upper 
Minnesota  valley,  on  the  uortli  or  east  side  of  the  river,  were 
church  members.  Tlie  large  German  Evangelical  settlement,  on 
Sacred  Heart  ereek  lield  religious  services  on  that  day  at  the 
house  of  one  of  the  members,  and  there  were  so  many  in  attend- 
ance that  the  congregation  occupied  the  door  yard.  A  great  flock 
of  ehiUlren  had  attended  the  Sunday  school  and  received  the 
ninth  of  a  series  of  blue  cards,  as  evidence  of  tlieir  regular  at- 
tendance for  the  nine  preceding  Sundays.  "When  you  come  next 
Sunday,"  said  the  superintendent  to  the  children,  "you  will  be 
given  another  blue  ticket,  making  ten  tickets,  and  you  can  ex- 
change them  for  a  red  ticket. ""  But  to  neither  cliihlren  or  super- 
intendent that   "next  Sunday"  never  came. 

At  Yellow^  Medicine  and  Hazelwood  there  was  an  unusual 
attendance  at  the  meetings  conducted  by  Kiggs  and  Williamson. 
At  tlu?  Lower  Agency  Rev.  S.  1).  llinmau,  the  rector  of  the  sta- 
tion, lield  services  in  Sioux  in  the  newly  erected  but  uncom- 
pleted Episcopal  cinircli  and  among  his  most  attentive  auditors 
were  Little  Crow  and  Little  Priest,  the  latter  a  Wiiniebago  sub- 
chief,  who.  with  a  dozen  of  his  band,  had  been  hanging  about 
the  Agency,  awaiting  the  Sioux  payments.  Little  Crow  was  a 
pagan,  believing  in  the  gods  of  his  ancestors,  but  he  always 
showed  great  tolerance  and  respect  for  the  religious  opinions 
of  others. 

Altogether  there  was  not  liie  siiglitcst  indication  or  tlie  faint- 
est suspicion  of  impending  trouble  before  it  came.  There  are 
printed  statements  to  the  effect  that  a  great  conspiracy  had 
been  set  on  foot,  or  at  least  planned ;  but  careful  investigation 
proves  these  statements,  no  matter  by  whom  made,  to  be  base- 
less and  unwarranted.     Except  the  four  perpetrators  luibody  was 


140  IIISTOKY  OF  liEXVlLLE  COUNTY 

more  startk'd  or  surprised  upon  tlie  learning  of  tin-  nuu'drr  of 
the  first  -whites,  than  the  Indians  themselves. 

The  Rice  ( 'rrcl.;  Indians  werr  ileserters  from  the  l)ands  Id  wliii'li 
they  riglitfully  belonged,  beeause  they  were  diseontenti-d  with 
conditions  and  hatl  grievances  against  their  chiefs  or  others  of 
their  fellow-clansmen.  They  were,  too,  malcontents  generally. 
They  did  not  like  their  own  people:  they  did  not  like  the  whites. 
Not  one  of  them  was  a  Cliristian,  and  they  hatl  nothing  but  con- 
tempt for  their  brethren  that  hail  become  converts.  !Many  of 
them,  however,  wore  white  nu:-n's  clotliing,  and  a  few  were  good 
hunters  and  trappers,  although  none  were  farmers.  They  de- 
pended almost  altogether  for  provisions  upon  their  success  in 
hunting  and  fishing.  Detachments  from  the  band  were  constantly 
in  the  big  woods,  engaged  in  luuiting,  although  in  warm  weather 
the  game  killed  became  tainted  and  nearly  putrid  liefore  it  could 
be  taken  home ;  and  from  daylight  until  dark  tlie  river  bank  in 
front  of  their  village  M'as  linetl  with  wonnui  and  children  busily 
fishing  for  bullheads. 

On  Sunday  afternoon,  August  IT,  the  Rice  Creekers  held  an 
open  council,  wJiicli  was  attended  by  some  of  Shakopee's  hand 
from  across  the  river.  It  was  agreed  to  nudvc  a  demonstration  to 
hurry  up  the  jjaynu-nt,  and  tluit  the  next  day  every  able-bodied 
man  should  go  down  to  tlu>  Tjower  Agency,  from  thence  to  Fort 
Ridgely.  and  from  thrnce  to  St.  Paul,  if  necessary,  and  urge  the 
autlujrities  to  hasten  the  pay  day,  already  too  long  deferred.  But 
nothing  was  said  in  the  council  about  war.  An  hour  or  two  later 
nothing  was  talked  of  but  war. 

About  August  12  twent\'  Lower  Tmlians  went  over  into  tlie 
big  woods  of  ]\Ieeker  and  McLcod  counties  to  hunt.  Half  a  dozen 
or  more  of  the  Rice  Ci'eek  baud  wrw  of  the  party.  One  of  Shako- 
pee's band,  named  Island  t'loud.  or  Makh-pea  "VVe-tah,  had  busi- 
ness with  Captain  George  C.  Whiti;oudi.  of  Forest  City,  concern- 
ing a  wagon  which  the  Imlian  hail  lid't  with  the  captain.  Reach- 
ing the  hunting  grounds  in  the  southern  jtart  of  ileeker  county, 
the  party  divided.  Island  Cloud  and  four  others  proceeding  to 
Forest  City  and  the  renmindri'  eontijuiing  in  tin-  townsliii)  of 
Acton. 

On  the  morning  of  August  17  four  Rii-e  Crerk  Indians  were 
passing  along  the  Henderson  and  Pembina  I'oad,  in  the  central 
part  of  Acton  township.  Three  of  them  were  formerly  Upper 
Indians,  the  fourtli  had  a  Medawakanton  fatlier  and  a  "Wahpaton 
mother.  Their  names,  in  English,  were  Brown  "Wing.  Bi'caks  Up 
and  Scattei's,  Ghost  That  Kills,  and  Crawls  Against:  the  last 
named  was  living  at  Manitoba  in  1S91.  Two  of  the  foui-  were 
dressed  as  white  nu-n ;  the  others  wrre  partly  in  Indian  costume. 
None  of  them  was  moi'c  than  tliirty  years  of  age,  but  each  seemed 
older. 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  141 

As  these  Iiiiliaiis  were  passing  tlie  house  and  premises  of 
Robinson  Jones,  four  miles  soutli  of  the  present  site  of  Grove 
City,  one  of  tliem  found  some  hen's  eggs  in  a  fence  corner  and 
proceeded  to  appropriate  them.  One  of  liis  comrades  remon- 
strated against  his  taking  tlie  eggs  because  they  belonged  to  :i 
white  man  and  a  discussion  of  the  character  of  a  quarrel  resulted. 
To  Return  I.  Ilolcombe,  the  compiler  of  this  chapter,  in  June.  1894. 
Chief  Big  Eagle  related  the  ])artieulars  of  this  incident,  as  follows  : 
"I  will  tell  you  how  this  was  done,  as  it  was  told  to  me  by  all 
of  the  four  young  men  who  did  the  killing.  *  *  *  They  came 
to  a  settler's  fence  and  here  they  found  a  hen's  nest  with  some 
eggs  in  it.  One  of  them  took  the  eggs  when  another  said:  'Don't 
take  them,  for  they  belong  to  a  white  man  and  we  may  get  into 
trouble.'  The  other  was  angry,  for  he  was  very  hungry  and 
Avanted  to  eat  the  eggs,  and  he  dashed  them  to  the  ground  and 
replied:  'You  are  a  coward.  You  are  afraid  of  the  white  man. 
You  are  afraid  to  take  even  an  egg  from  him,  though  you  are 
iialf  starved.  Yes,  you  are  a  coward  and  I  will  tell  everybody 
so.'  The  other  said,  'I  am  not  a  coward.  T  am  not  afraid  of  the 
white  man,  and  to  show  you  that  I  am  not,  I  will  go  to  the  house 
and  shoot  him.  Are  you  brave  enough  to  go  with  me?'  The  one 
who  had  taken  the  eggs  replied:  'Yes,  I  will  go  with  you  and  we 
will  see  who  is  the  brave.'  Their  two  companions  then  said :  'We 
will  go  with  you  and  we  will  be  brave,  too.'  Then  they  all  went 
to  the  house  of  the  white  man."  (See  Vol.  6,  Minn.  Hist.  Socy. 
Coll.,  p.  389 ;  also  St.  Paul  Pioneer  Press,  July  1,  1894.) 

Robinson  Jones  -was  a  pioneer  settler  in  Acton  township.  He 
and  others  came  from  a  lumber  camp  in  northern  Minnesota,  in 
the  spring  of  1857,  and  made  claims  in  the  same  neighborhood. 
January  4.  1861,  Jones  married  a  widow  named  Ann  Baker,  with 
an  adult  son,  Howard  Baker,  who  had  a  wife  and  two  young  chil- 
dren and  lived  on  his  own  claim,  in  a  good  log  house,  half  a 
mile  north  of  his  step-father.  The  marriage  ceremony  uniting 
Jones  and  Mrs.  Baker  was  performed  by  James  C.  Bright,  a  jus- 
tice of  the  peace.  In  the  summer  of  1862  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Jones 
adopted  into  their  family  a  deceased  relative's  two  children, 
Clara  D.  "Wilson,  a  girl  of  fifteen,  and  her  half  brother,  an  infant 
of  eighteen  months.  No  eliiklrcii  were  born  to  Jlr.  and  Mrs. 
Jones  after  their  marriage. 

Jones  was  a  typical  stalwart  frontiersman,  somewhat  rough 
and  unrefined,  but  well  liked  by  his  white  neighbors.  His  wife 
was  a  congenial  companion.  In  1861  a  postoffice  called  Acton 
was  established  at  Jones'  house;  it  was  called  for  the  township, 
which  had  been  named  by  some  settlers  from  Canada  for  their 
old  home  locality.  In  his  house  Jones  kept  a  small  stock  of  goods 
fairly  suited  to  the  wants  of  his  neighbors  and  to  the  Indian 
trade.    He  also  kept  constantly  on  hand  a  barrel  or  more  of  cheap 


142  HISTORY  OF  KEXVILLK  (Or.XTY 

whiskey  which  he  sold  by  the  glass  or  bottles,  an  array  of  which 
always  stood  on  his  shelves.  He  seldom  sold  whiskey  to  the 
Indians  except  when  he  had  traded  with  them  for  their  furs,  but 
]\Irs.  Jones  would  let  them  have  it  whenever  they  could  pay  for  it. 

August  10,  a  young  married  couple,  Mr.  and  ]\Irs.  Viranus 
Webster,  from  Wisconsin,  in  search  of  a  Minnesota  homestead, 
came  to  Howard  Baker's  in  their  fine  two-horse  wagon  and  were 
given  a  welcome  and  a  temporary  home  until  they  could  select 
a  claim.  As  Baker's  rooms  were  small,  the  Websters  continued 
to  use  their  covered  wagon  as  a  sleeping  apartment.  Webster 
had  about  .$160  in  gold  coin,  and  some  other  money,  and  good 
outfit,  including  a  fine  shotgun. 

Tlie  Ghost  Killer  and  his  three  companions  went  to  Jones' 
lionse,  and  according  to  his  statement,  made  half  an  hour  laterj 
demanded  whisky,  which  he  declined  to  give  tlu'iii.  He  knew 
personally  all  of  the  four,  and  was  astonished  at  their  conduct, 
which  was  so  unusual,  so  menaciug  and  threatening,  that — al- 
though he  was  of  great  physical  strength  and  had  a  reputation 
as  a  fighter  and  for  personal  courage — he  became  alarmed  and 
fled  from  his  own  house  to  that  of  his  step-son,  Howard  Baker, 
whithei-  his  wife  had  pr(>cedi'd  liiiii  (in  a  Sunday  visit.  In  his 
flight  he  abandoned  his  foster  children,  Clara  Wilson  anil  her 
baby  brother.  Reacliing  the  house  of  his  step-son,  Jones  said,  in 
ajiparent  alarm,  that  he  had  liecn  afraid  of  the  Indians  who  had 
jilainly  tried  to  provoke  a  quarrel  with  him. 

Although  the  Jones  house,  with  its  stores  of  whisky,  mer- 
chandise, and  other  ai'tieles  had  been  altandoned  to  them,  the 
Indians  did  not  oil'er  to  take  a  thing  from  it,  or  to  molest  iliss 
Wilson.  Walking  leisurely,  they  followed  Jones  to  the  Baker 
house,  which  they  reached  about  11  a.  m.  Two  of  them  could 
speak  a  little  English,  and  Jones  spoke  Sioux  fairly  well.  What 
occurred  is  thus  related  in  the  recorded  sworn  testimony  of  Mrs. 
Howard  Baker,  at  the  inquest  held  over  the  bodies  of  her  husband 
and  others  the  day  following  the  tragedy : 

"About  11  o'clock  a.  m.  four  Indians  came  into  oin-  house; 
stayed  about  fifteen  minutes;  got  nj)  and  looked  out;  had  the 
men  take  down  their  guns  and  shoot  them  oft'  at  a  mark;  then 
bantered  for  a  gun  trade  with  Jones.  About  12  o '-clock  two 
more  Indians  came  and  got  some  water.  Our  guns  were  not 
reloaded;  but  the  Indians  reloaded  tlieirs  in  the  door  yard  after 
they  had  fired  at  the  nuirk.  I  went  back  into  the  house,  for  at 
the  time  I  did  not  suspect  anything,  but  supposed  the  Indians 
were  going  away. 

"The  next  thing  I  knew  I  heard  the  report  of  a  gun  and  saw 
Mr.  Webster  fall;  he  stood  and  fell  near  the  door  of  the  house. 
Another  Indian  came  to  the  door  and  aimed  his  gun  at  my  hus- 
band and  fired,  but  did  not  kill  hiu^;  then  he  shot  the  other  bar- 


lIlSTOin'  OF   KK.WII.I.K  COrXTV  143 

rel  of  the  gun  at  liim,  ami  tlu'ii  lie  fell  dead.    My  mother-in-law, 
Mrs.  Jones,  eanie  to  the  door  and  another  Indian  shot  her;  she 
turned  to  run  and  fell  into  tlie  butterj^;  they  shot  at  her  twice  as 
she  fell.     I  tricii  to  get  out  of  the  window  but  fell  down  cellar. 
I  saw  airs.   Webster  i)ullins  the  body  of  hei'  husband  into  the 
house;  while  1  was  in  the  ei'llar  1  heard  firing  out  of  doors,  and 
the  Indians  ininiediately  left  the  house,  and  then  all  went  away. 
"Mr.  Jones  had  told   us  that  they  were  Sioux  Indians,   and 
that  he  M'as  well  aequainted  with  them.    Two  of  the  Indians  had 
on  white  men's  coats;  one  was  quite  tall,  one  was  quite  small,  one 
was  thick  and  chubby,  and  all  were  middle-aged;  one  had  two 
feathers  in  his  cap,  and  another  had  three.     Jones  said  to  us: 
'They  asked  me  for  whisky,  but  1  could  not  give  them  any.'  " 
(See  History  of  Meeker  county,  1876,  by  A.  C.  Smith,  who  pre- 
sided at  the  inquest  and  recorded  the  testinumy  of  Mrs.  Baker.) 
In  a  published  stateiiicnt    made  a  few  days  later   (See  com- 
munication of  :\1.  S.  Croswell,  of  Monticello,  in  St.  Paul  Daily 
Press,  for  Seiitember  4.   1862)   Mrs.  Webster  fully  corroborates 
the  statements  of  ^Mrs.  Baker.     She  added,  however,  that  when 
the  Indians  came  to  the  Baker  house  they  acted  very  friendly, 
offering  to  shake  hands  with  everybody;  that  Jones  traded  Bak- 
er's gun  to  ail  Indian  that  spoke  English  and  who  gave  the  white 
man  three   dollars   in   silver  "to  boot,"  seeming  to  have   more 
money:  that  Webster  was  the  fir.st  person  shot  and  then  Baker 
and    ;\Irs.    Jones:    that    an    Indian    chased   Jones    and    mortally 
wounded  him  so  that  he  fell  near  Web.ster's  wagon,  shot  through 
the  body,  and  died  after  suffering  terribly,  for  when  the  relief 
party  came  it  was  seen  that  in  his  death  agonies  he  had  torn  up 
handfuls  of  grass  and  turf  and  dug  cavities  in  the  ground,  while 
his  features  were  hoi'ribly  distoi-ted. 

Mrs.  Webster  furtlici-  stated  that  she  witnessed  the  shooting 
from  her  covered  wagon :  that  as  soon  as  it  was  over  the  Indians 
left,  without  offering  any  sort  of  indignities  to  the  bodies  of  their 
vietims.  or  to  carry  away  any  plunder  or  even  to  take  away  Web- 
ster's and  Baker's  four  tine  hor.ses,  a  good  mount  for  each  In- 
dian. Mrs.  Webster  then  hastened  to  her  dying  husband  and 
asked  him  wli\-  the  Indians  liail  shot  him.  He  replied:  "I  do  not 
know ;  1  never  saw  a  Siou.x  Indian  before,  and  nevei-  had  any- 
thing to  do  with  one."  ]\Irs.  Baker  now  ajijjeared  from  the 
cellar  and,  with  ln-r  two  children  ran  into  a  thicket  of  hazel 
bushes  near  the  house  and  eowi-red  among  them.  As  soon  as 
Webster  was  dead  and  his  body  had  been  composed  by  his  wife, 
she,  too,  ran  to  the  bushes  and  joined  Mrs.  Baker. 

The  two  teri'or-stricken  women  weri^  considering,  as  best 
their  mental  condition  would  permit,  what  they  should  do,  when 
a  half-witted,  half-dernented  fellow,  an  Irishman,  named  Cox, 
came   along  the    road.      At    once   the   women    entreated    him    for 


144  IIISTOKV  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

assistance.  Tlie  poor  imbecile  onlj-  grinned,  shook  his  head  and 
said  to  them  that  they  were  liars  and  that  there  had  been  no 
Indians  here.  When  thej-  pointed  to  the  bloody  corpses  he 
laughed  and  said:  "Oh,  they  only  have  the  nose-bleed;  it  will  do 
them  good,"  and  then  passed  on,  crooning  a  weird  song  to  a 
weirder  tune.  A  few  days  later,  the  report  was  that  Cox  was 
a  spy  for  tlie  Indians  and  he  was  arrested  at  Forest  City  and 
sent  under  guard,  via  Monticello,  to  St.  Paul,  where,  on  investi- 
gation, lie  was  released  as  a  harmless  lunatic. 

Horrified  and  half  distracted,  Mrs.  Baker  and  Mrs.  "Webster, 
with  the  former's  two  children,  made  their  way  for  some  miles 
to  the  house  of  Nels  Olson  (who  was  afterward  killed  by  the 
Indians),  where  they  passed  the  night.  The  next  morning  they 
were  taken  to  Forest  City  and  from  thence  to  Kingston  and  Mon- 
ticello.    Their  subsequent  history  cannot  here  be  given. 

Soon  after  their  arrival  at  Nels  Olson's  cabin  Ole  Ingeman 
heard  the  alarming  story  of  Mrs.  Baker  and  Mrs.  Webster  and 
galloped  awa.y  to  Forest  City  with  the  thrilling  news,  stirring 
up  the  settlers  on  the  waj'.  He  reached  Forest  City  at  six  o'clock 
in  the  evening,  crying,  "Indians  on  the  war  path!"  In  an  hour 
sixteen  of  the  villagers,  with  hunting  rifles  and  shotguns,  M^ere 
on  their  way  to  Acton.  It  soon  grew  dark  and  nine  of  the  party 
turned  back.  The  other  seven — John  Blaekwell,  Berger  Ander- 
son, Amos  N.  Fosen,  Nels  Danielson,  Ole  Westman,  John  Nelson, 
and  Charles  Magnuson — pressed  bravely  on.  Soon  they  were 
joined  by  another  party  of  settlers  headed  by  Thomas  McGan- 
non.  Reaching  the  Baker  place,  the  settlers  approached  the  house 
warily,  lest  the  Indians  were  still  there.  In  the  darkness  they 
stumbled  over  the  bloody  bodies  of  Jones,  Webster  and  Baker, 
and  fouuil  the  corpse  of  ilrs.  Jones  in  a  pantry. 

In  the  gloom  of  midnight  the  pioneers  passed  on  to  Acton 
post  office.  Jones'  house.  Here  they  expected  to  find  the  Indians 
dead  drunk  in  Jones'  whisky,  but  not  an  Indian  was  there.  Pros- 
trate on  the  floor,  in  a  pool  of  her  virgin  blood,  and  just  as  she 
had  fallen  when  the  Indian's  bullet  split  her  young  heart  in  twain, 
lay  the  corpse  of  poor  Clara  Wilson.  No  disrespect  had  been 
shoAVU  it  and  she  had  been  mercifully  killed  outright — that  was 
all.  On  a  Ioav  bed  lay  her  little  baby  brother  of  two  years,  with 
not  a  scratch  upon  him.  He  had  cried  himself  to  sleep.  When 
awakened  he  smiled  into  the  faces  of  his  rescuers,  and  prattled 
that  Clara  was  "hurt"  and  that  he  wanted  his  supper.  John 
Blaekwell  carried  him  away  and  the  child  was  finally  adopted 
by  Charles  H.  Ellis,  of  Otsego,  Wright  county. 

In  a  corner  of  the  main  room  of  the  Jones  house  stood  a  half- 
filled  whisky  barrel,  and  on  a  long  shelf,  with  other  merchandise, 
was  an  array  of  pint  and  half-pint  bottles  filled  with  the  exhila- 
rating beverage.     The  Indians  had  not  touched  a  drop  of  the 


HISTOKY  OF  RENVILLE  CorNTV  145 

stuff — so  tlu'y  themselves  declared,  and  so  appearances  indi- 
cated. The  numerous  printed  statements  that  they  were  drunk 
when  they  perpetrated  tlie  murders  are  all  false.  Moreover, 
Jones'  statement  that  they  wanted  whisky  and-"acted  uglj'"  be- 
cause he  would  not  let  them  have  it,  may  well  be  disbelieved. 
After  he  had  fled  from  the  house,  disgracefully  abandoning  Clara 
Wilson  and  her  baby  brother,  who  were  all  that  could  say  them 
nay,  the  Indians  might  have  seized  enough  of  the  whisky  to 
make  the  entire  Rice  Creek  band  drunk;  and  when  they  returned 
from  Baker's  and  killed  Miss  Wilson  they  could  easily  have 
plundered  Jones'  house,  not  only  of  its  wliisky,  but  of  all  its 
other  contents,  but  this  they  did  not  do.  Of  all  Jones'  house- 
hold goods  and  his  tempting  stock  of  merchandise,  not  a  pin 
was  taken  and  not  a  drop  of  wliisky  drank.  At  Baker's  they 
were  as  sober  as  judges  and  asked  for  water.  (See  Lawson  and 
Tew's  admirable  History  of  Kandiyohi  county,  pp.  18-19;  also 
Smith's  Historj'  of  Meeker  county.) 

On  Monday,  August  18,  about  sixty  citizens  assembled  at 
Acton  and  an  inquest  was  held  on  the  bodies  of  Jones,  Webster, 
Baker,  Mrs.  Jones,  and  Clara  Wilson.  The  investigation  was 
presided  over  by  Judge  A.  C.  Smith,  of  Forest  City,  then  pro- 
bate judge  and  acting  county  attorney  of  Meeker  county.  The 
testimony  of  ilrs.  Baker  and  otliers  was  taken  and  recorded  and 
the  verdict  was  that  the  subjects  of  the  inquest  were,  "murdered 
by  Indians  of  the  Sioux  tribe,  whose  names  are  unknown."'  The 
bodies  had  eluinged  and  were  changing  fast  under  the  warm  Au- 
gust temperature,  and  were  rather  hastily  coffined  and  taken 
about  three  miles  eastward  to  the  cemetery  connected  with  the 
Norwegian  church,  commonly  called  tlie  Ness  church,  and  all 
five  of  them  were  buried  "in  one  broad  grave."  (See  Smith's 
Histoiy,  p.  17.)  Some  years  later  at  a  cost  of  ifioOO,  the  State 
erected  a  granite  monument  over  the  grave  to  the  memory  of 
its  inmates. 

While  the  inquest  was  being  held  at  the  Baker  house,  eleven 
Indians,  all  mounted,  appeared  on  the  prairie  ludf  a  mile  to  the 
westward.  Tliey  were  Island  Cloud  and  his  party.  The  two  In- 
dians that  had  come  to  Baker's  the  previous  day,  while  the 
Cdiost  Killer  and  his  companions  were  tliere,  and  had  left,  after 
obtaining  a  drink  of  water,  and  before  the  murders,  reported 
to  the  main  party  that  they  had  heard  firing  in  the  direction  of 
the  Baker  liouse.  Ghost  Killer  and  the  three  otliers  had  not  since 
been  seen,  and  Island  Cloud  and  his  fellows  feared  that  the  whites 
had  killed  them  in  a  row,  while  drunk  on  Jones'  whisky.  (Island 
Cloud's  statement  to  W.  L.  Quinn  and  others.)  They  were  ap- 
proaching the  Baker  house  to  learn  what  had  become  of  tlieir 
comrades  when  the  crowd  at  the  inquest  saw  them.  Instantly  a 
number  of  armed  and  mounted  settlers  started  for  them,  bent  on 


]46  niSTORV  OF  RENVILLE  COT-XTY 

vengeance.  The  Indians.  wlioUy  unaware  of  the  real  situation, 
and  believing  that  their  four  comrades  had  been  murdered  and 
that  they  themselves  were  in  deadly  peril,  turned  and  fled  in 
terror  and  were  chased  well  into  Kandiyohi  county.  Both  whites 
and  Indians  in  the  vicinity  of  Acton  were  at  this  time  wholly 
unaware  and  altogether  unsuspicious  of  wliat  a  great  conflagra- 
tion was  then  raging  tlie  ilinnesota  valley  and  which  had  b(H'n 
kindled  by  the  little  tire  at  Howard  Baker's  cabin. 

All  of  tlie  attendant  circumstances  prove  that  the  murder  was 
solely  the  work  of  tlie  five  persons  that  did  the  deeil,  and  tliat  tliey 
liad  no  accessories  before  or  after  the  fact.  It  was  not  perpetrated 
because  of  dissatisfaction  at  the  delay  in  the  payment,  nor  because 
there  were  to  be  soldiers  at  the  pay  table :  it  was  not  occasioned 
by  the  .sale  of  the  north  ten-mile  strip  of  the  reservation,  nor  be- 
cause so  many  white  men  liad  left  Minnesota  and  gone  into  tlie 
Union  army.  It  was  not  tlie  result  of  the  councils  of  the  sol- 
diers' lodge,  nor  of  any  other  Indian  plot.  Tlie  twenty  or  more 
Indians  who  left  Rice  Creek  August  V2  for  tlie  hunt  did  not  in- 
tend to  kill  white  people;  if  they  had  so  intended.  Island  Cloud 
and  all  the  rest  would  liave  been  present  at  and  have  participated 
in  the  murders  at  Baker's  and  Jones'  and  carried  oS  nuich  port- 
able property,  including  horses.  Tlie  trouble  started  as  has  been 
stated — from  finding  a  few  eggs  in  a  white  man's  fence-corner. 

After  the  murder  of  Clara  Wilson — wlio,  the  Indians  said, 
was  shot  from  the  roadway  as  she  was  standing  in  the  doorway 
looking  at  them — the  four  murderers,  possibly  without  entering 
the  Jones  house,  went  directly  to  the  house  of  Peter  Wicklund, 
near  Lake  Elizabeth,  which  they  reached  about  one  o'clock,  when 
the  family  were  at  dinner.  Wicklund 's  son-in-law,  A.  ^I.  Eckuud, 
who  had  a  team  of  good  young  horses,  had  arrived  with  his  wife, 
a  short  time  before,  for  a  Sunday  visit  at  her  father's.  One  of 
the  Indians  came  to  the  door  of  the  house,  cocked  his  gun,  and 
pointed  it  at  the  people  seated  around  the  dinner  table.  Mrs. 
Wicklund  rose  and  motioned  to  the  savage  to  point  his  gun  in 
another  direction.  He  continued,  however,  to  menace  the  party 
and  thus  distract  their  attention  while  his  companions  secured 
and  slipped  away  with  Ecklund's  horses.  Then,  mounted,  two  on 
a  horse,  the  four  rode  rapidly  southward.  Some  distance  from 
Wicklund 's  they  secured  two  other  horses,  and  then  they  pro- 
ceeded as  fast  as  possible  to  their  village  at  the  mouth  of  Rice 
Creek,  forty  miles  from  Acton. 

They  reached  their  village  in  tlie  twilight  after  a  swift,  hard 
ride,  which,  according  to  Jere  Campbell,  who  was  present,  liad 
well  nigh  exhausted  the  liorses.  Leaping  from  their  panting  and 
dripping  studs  they  called  out:  "Get  your  guns!  There  is  war 
with  the  M-hites  and  we  have  begun  it!''  Then  they  related  the 
events   of  the   morning.     They  seemed   like   criminals   that   had 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COIXI^-  147 

perpetrated  some  foul  deed  aud  then,  affriglited,  apprehensive 
and  remorseful,  had  fled  to  their  kinsmen  for  shelter  and  protec- 
tion.    Their  story  at  onee  created  great  excitement  and  at  the 
same  time  much  synipatliy  for  them.     Some  of  their  fellow  vil- 
lagers began  at  onee  to  get  ready  for  war,  by  putting  their  guns 
in  order  and  looking  after  their  ammunition  supplies.    Ho-ehoke- 
pe-doota,   the  chief  of  the  Rice  Creek  bank — if  he  really  held 
that  position — was  beside  himself  Avith  excitement.      At  last  he 
concluded  to  take  the   four  adventurers  and   go   and  see  Chief 
Shakopee  about  the  matter.     Repairing  as  .speedily  as  possible 
to  the  chief's  village,  on  the  south  side  of  the  river,  near  the 
mouth  of  the  Redwood,  they  electrified  all  of  its  people  by  their 
startling  story,  which,  however,  many  of  them  had  already  heard. 
Shakopee   (or  Little  Six)  was  a  non-progressive  Indian,  who 
lived  in  a  tepee  and  generally  as  an   Indian — scorning  the  ad- 
juncts of  the  white  man.     The  story  of  the  killing  stirred  him, 
and  the  excitement  among  his  band,  some  members  of  which  were 
already  shouting  the  war-whoop  and  preparing  to  fight,  affected 
him  so  that,  while  he  declared  tiiat  he  was  for  war,  he  did  not 
know  what  to  do.    "Let  us  go  down  and  see  Little  Crow  and  the 
others  at  the  Agency,"  he  said  at  last.     Accordingly  Shakopee, 
.  the  Rice  Creek  chief,  two  of  the  four  young  men  who  still  smelled 
of  the  white  people's  blood  they  had  spilled,  and  a  considerable 
number  of  other  Rice  Creekers,  and  members  of  Shakopee 's  band, 
altliough  it  was  midnight,  went  down  to  consult  witli  the  greatest 
of  the  Sioux,  Tah  0  Yahte  Dootah,  or  Little  Crow.    Messengers 
were  also  sent  to  the  other  sub-chiefs  inviting  them  to  a  war 
council  at  Little  Crow's  house.    The  chief  was  startled  by  the  ap- 
pearance of  Shakopee  and  the  others,  and  at   first  seemed  non- 
plussed and  at  a  loss  to  decide.     Finally  he  agreed  to  the  war, 
said  the  whites  of  the  Upper  Minnesota  mu.st  all  be  killed,  and  he 
commended  the  young  murderers  for  shedding  the   first  blood, 
saying  they  had  "done  well."  Big  Eagle  thus  relates  the  incident: 
"Shako])ee  took  the  young  men  to  Little  (^row's  fi-ame  house, 
two  miles  above  the  Agency,  and  he  sal   up  in  lud  ami  listened 
to  their  story.     He  said  war  was  now  dcclai-fd.     Blood  had  been 
shed,  the  annuities  wouhl  be  stopped,  and  the  whites  would  take 
a  dreadful  vengeance  because  women  had  been  killi-d.     Wabasha, 
Wacouta,  myself,  and  some  others  talked  for  peace,  l)ut  noljody 
would   listen   to   us,   and   soon   tiie    general    cry   was:      "Kill    the 
whites,  and  kill  all  these  eut-liairs   (Indians  ami   liali'-bloods  who 
had  cut  their  haii'  and  jiut  on  white  men's  clotiiesi  that  will  not 
join  us.'     Then  a  council  was  held  and  war  was  declared.     Tlie 
women  began   to   run   hullcts  and   the   uu-n   to  clean   their   guns. 
Parties  formed  and  dashed  away  in  the  darkness  to  kill  the  set- 
tlers.    Little  Crow  gave  orders  to  attack  the  agency  early  next 
moi-uiug  and  to  kill   the  traders  and  othei-  whites  there. 


148  IIISTOKV  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

■"When  tlie  Indians  first  came  to  Little  Crow  for  counsel  and 
advice  lie  said  to  them,  tauntingly.  'Why  do  you  come  to  me  for 
advice?  Go  to  the  man  you  elected  speaker  (Traveling  Hail) 
and  let  liim  tell  you  what  to  do."  But  he  soon  came  around  all 
right." 

Between  li  and  7  o'cloel-;  on  thr  moi'ning  of  jVugust  IS.  the 
first  shot  Avas  fired  and  the  first  white  man  was  killed  at  the 
Lower  Agency  and  the  dreadful  massacre  began.  James  "W. 
Lynd,  ex-state  senator  from  Sibley  county,  was  a  clerk  in  ]\Iy- 
rick's  trading  house  at  the  Agency.  He  was  standing  upon  a 
door  step  watching  the  movements  of  some  Indians  who  were 
coming  along  with  gnn.s  in  their  hands  and  acting  strangely.  Sud- 
denly one  of  tliem  named  Mucli  Hail,  or  Plenty  of  Hail  (Tan- 
"Wah-su  Ota),  (until  a  few  years  since  it  was  generally  understood 
from  the  best  authorities  that  the  fatal  shot  was  fired  by  Walks 
Like  a  Preacher,  Avho  died  in  prison  at  Davenport,  but  in  1901 
Much  Hail,  living  in  Canada,  confessed  that  he  was  the  one  that 
killed  Mr.  Lynd.)  drew  up  his  gun  and  pointing  it  at  Mr.  Lynd, 
said:  "Now,  I  will  kill  the  dog  that  would  not  give  me  credit." 
He  fired  and  iMr.  Lynd  fell  forward  and  died  instantly. 

The  massacre  then  became  general.  The  whites  were  taken 
quite  luiawares  and  were  easy  victims.  No  women  were  killed, 
but  some  were  taken  prisoners ;  others  were  allowed  to  escape. 
The  stores  presented  sucli  enticing  opportunities  for  securing 
plunder  of  a  greatly  coveted  sort  tliat  the  Indians  swarmed  into 
and  about  them,  pillaging  and  looting,  and  this  gave  many  wliites 
opportunity  to  escape  and  make  their  way  to  Fort  Kidgely,  four- 
teen miles.  Tlie  ferryman,  Hubert  Miller  (whose  name  was  com- 
monl.y  pronounced  Mauley,  and  wliose  name  was  printed  in  some 
histories  as  Jacob  JMayley)  stuck  to  his  post  and  ferried  people 
across  to  tlie  north  side  until  all  had  passed;  then  tlie  Indians 
killed  him. 

The  Indians  in  large  numbers  crossed  the  Minnesota  and  be- 
gan their  bloody  work  among  the  settlers  along  Beaver  and 
Sacred  Heart  creeks  and  in  the  IMinnesota  bottoms.  A  few  set- 
tler.s — and  only  a  few — were  warned  in  time  to  escape. 

Shakopee's  band  operated  chiefly  in  this  quarter  and  the 
chief  that  night  said  he  had  killed  so  many  white  people  during 
the  day  that  his  arm  was  quite  lame.  The  other  Lower  bands 
went  down  into  Brown  county  and  directly  across  the  river. 

The  dreadful  scenes  that  were  enacted  in  the  Upper  Minne- 
sota valley  on  that  dreadful  eighteenth  of  August  can  neither  be 
described  nor  imagined.  Hundreds  of  Indians  visited  the  white 
settlements  to  the  north  and  cast  and  perpetrated  innumerable 
murders  and  countless  other  outrages.  Scores  of  women  and 
children  were  brought  in  as  prisoners  and  many  wagon  loads  of 
phnider  were  driven  into  the  Indian  camps.    White  men,  women, 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUXTY  149 

and  children  oL'  all  ages  were  murdered  iiidiscriniinately,  and 
under  the  most  terrible  circumstances.  The  bodies  were 
commonly  mutilated — sometimes  shockinglj' — but  very  few  were 
scalped.  Oul}-  one  mixed  blood  Indian,  Francois  La  Bathe  (pro- 
nounced La  Bat)  a  trader  at  the  Lower  Agency,  was  killed. 
About  twenty  mixed  bloods  joined  tlie  hostile  Indians :  the  others 
who  would  not  join  were  made  prisoners.  Many  mixed  blood 
women  were  violated  and  otherwise  misused.  That  night  a  large 
number  of  the  settlers'  houses  and  other  buildings  were  burned, 
but  many  houses  were  spared.  Some  of  the  Indians  declared  that 
they  needed  them  to  live  in,  the  coming  autumn  and  winter. 

There  was  no  resistance  worthy  of  the  name.  Very  few  set- 
tlers had  fire-arms  or  were  accustomed  to  them.  There  were 
nuiny  Germans  that  had  nevei'  fired  a  gun  in  ;ill  of  tlieir 
lives.  Then,  too.  the  Indian  attacks  were  wholly  luiexpected. 
The  savages  approached  their  victims  in  a  most  friendly  and 
pleasant  manner  and  slew  them  without  warning.  Very  often, 
however,  the  white  man  knew  that  he  was  to  be  murdered,  but 
he  made  no  attempt  to  defend  himself.  Some  who  Avere  being 
chased  by  the  Indians,  turned  and  fired  a  few  shots  at  their  pur- 
suers, but  withoiit  effect.  Though  hundreds  of  white  people  were 
murdered  bj-  the  Indians  that  day,  not  a  single  Indian  was  killed 
or  severely  injured. 

Down  the  Minnesota  river  on  both  sides  below  Fort  Ridgley 
as  far  as  New  Ulm,  and  up  the  river  to  Yellow  Medicine,  the 
bloody  slaughter  extended  that  day.  The  fiendish  butcheries  and 
horrible  killings  beggar  description.  Here  is  one  of  many  like  in- 
stances: Cut  Nose,  a  savage  of  savages,  with  half  a  dozen  other 
Sioux,  overtook  a  number  of  whites  in  wagons.  He  sprang  into 
one  of  the  vehicles  in  which  were  eleven  women  and  children  and 
tomahawked  every  one  of  them,  yelling  in  fiendish  delight  as  his 
weapons  went  crashing  through  the  skulls  of  the  helpless  victims. 
Twenty-five  whites  were  killed  at  this  point.  Settlers  were  slain 
from  near  the  Iowa  line  in  Jackson  county,  as  far  north  as  Breck- 
enridge,  including  Glencoe,  Hutchinson,  Forest  City,  Manannah 
and  other  places.  Fourteen  were  killed  at  White  Lake,  Kandi- 
yohi county.  The  much  greater  number  of  whites  were  slaugh- 
tered, however,  within  the  reservations,  and  in  Renville  and 
Brown  counties.  During  the  first  week,  it  is  estimated  that  over 
600  whites  were  killed  and  nearlj'  200  women  and  children  taken 
captive. 

The  "Whites  at  the  Yellow  Medicine  Agency  above  the  LoAver 
Agency,  to  the  number  of  sixty-two,  among  them  the  family  of 
Indian  Agent  Galbraith,  escaped  by  the  aid  of  John  Otherday,  a 
friendly  Indian. 

When  the  news  of  the  outbreak  reached  Fort  Ridgley,  Captain 
John  S.  Marsh,  with  forty-six  of  his  men  of  Companj'  B,  Fifth 


150  HIST(>in'  OF  RENVILLE  rOT'NTY 

Minnesota,  started  for  the  Lower  Agency.  He  ^vas  ambushed  at 
Redwood  Ferry,  twenty-four  of  his  men  were  killed  and  he  him- 
self was  drowned  in  attemptine:  to  cross  the  river.  The  survivors 
of  liis  eomniand  liid  in  the  thickets  and  woi-ked  tiieir  way  back 
to  the  foi-t  at  night. 

The  Indians  attacked  Foi't  Kitlgley  on  the  twentieth  and  again 
on  the  twenty-second  of  August,  the  latter  day  with  800  warriors. 
The  force  in  the  fort  numbered  180  men,  commanded  by  Lieuten- 
ant T.  J.  Sheehan.  A  small  battery  under  Sergeant  John  Jones, 
of  the  regular  army,  did  eti'ective  service.  There  were  300  refu- 
gees in  the  fort.  After  many  hours"  fighting,  the  Indians  i-etircd. 
Had  they  charged  they  could  have  captured  the  fort,  but  Indians 
do  not  tight  in  that  manner.  The  saving  of  Ridgley  was  the  sal- 
vation of  the  country  below,  as  its  capture  would  have  enabled 
the  Indians  to  SM'ee])  the  valley.  The  loss  of  the  garrison  was 
three  killed  and  twelve  woiuided. 

The  most  momentous  engagements  of  the  Indian  war  Avere 
the  attacks  upon  New  Ulm,  as  the  fate  of  moi-e  than  l.SOO  people 
was  at  stake.  The  Sioux  tii'st  assaulted  it  on  the  tlay  following 
the  outbreak,  but  were  driven  off.  That  night  Judge  C.  E.  Flan- 
drau,  of  the  Supreme  Court,  arrived  with  12;')  men,  and  the  next 
day  50  arii\i'd  from  ilankato.  Judge  Flandrau  was  chosen  to 
command.  On  August  23  the  Indians,  some  500  strong,  again 
attacked  tlie  little  city  and  suri-ounded  it,  apiiai'ently  determined 
to  capture  it.  The  battle  lasted  five  or  six  hours.  The  Indians 
set  fire  to  the  houses  to  the  windward,  and  the  flames  swept 
towards  the  center  of  the  city,  where  the  inhabitants  liad  barri- 
caded themselves,  and  complete  destruction  seemed  inevitable. 
The  whites,  under  Flandrau,  charged  the  Indians  and  drove  them 
half  a  mile.  They  then  set  fire  to  and  burned  all  the  houses  on 
the  outskirts  in  which  the  Indians  were  taking  shelter.  In  all, 
190  structures  were  destroyed.  Towards  evening  the  Indians  re- 
tired. Thirty-six  whites  were  killed,  inchuling  ten  slain  in  a 
recounoissance  on  the  nineteenth.  Seventy  to  eighty  wei'e 
wounded. 

Owing  to  a  shortage  of  provisions  and  auuiiunition.  the  city 
was  evacuated  on  August  25.  The  sick  antl  wounded  and  women 
and  children  were  loailed  into  153  wagons  and  started  for  Man- 
kato.  No  more  pathetic  sight  was  ever  witnessed  on  this  conti- 
nent than  this  long  procession  of  1,500  people  forced  to  leave 
theii'  homes  and  flee  from  a  relentless  foe,  unless  it  l)e  the  pathetic 
picture,  seen  so  many  times  on  this  continent  of  the  Indians  being 
driven  from  the  lands  of  their  ancestors  by  the  no  less  i-elentless 
whites. 

Heard's  history  thus  vividly  portrays  conditions  in  the  Minne- 
sota valley  at  this  period. 

"Shakopee.  IJelle  I'laiue  ami  Henderson  were  filled  with  fugi- 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COrNTV  151 

tives  .  Guards  patrollfil  tlio  Olltski^ts,  and  attacd<.s  were  con- 
stantly apprclieiidcd.  Oxen  were  killed  in  the  streets,  and  the 
meat,  Jiastily  pre|)ai'ed,  was  eooked  over  fii'es  on  the  gi'ound.  The 
grist  mills  were  sui-rendered  by  their  owners  to  the  public  and 
kept  in  constant  motion  to  allay  the  demand  for  footl.  All 
tliought  of  proiiei'ty  was  abaniloned.  Safety  of  life  prevailetl 
over  every  other  consideration.  Poverty  stared  in  the  face  those 
who  had  been  aflluent.  but  they  thoujjrht  little  of  that.  Women 
were  to  be  seen  in  the  street  hanginfi  on  each  other's  necks, 
telling  of  their  mutual  losses,  and  tiie  little  terror-stricken  chil- 
dren, surviving  remnants  of  once  happy  homes,  crying  piteously 
around  theii'  knees.  The  houses  and  stables  were  all  occupied  by 
people,  and  hundreds  of  fugitives  had  no  covering  or  sheltei'  but 
the  canopy  of  heaven." 

August  26,  Lieut. -Gov.  Ignatius  Donnelly,  writing  to  Gov. 
Alexander  Ramsey,  from  St.  Peter,  said: 

"You  can  hai-dly  conceive  the  panic  existing  along  the  valley. 
In  Belle  Plaine  I  found  sixty  people  crowded.  In  this  place  lead- 
ing citizens  assure  me  that  there  are  between  :3,000  and  4,000 
refugees.  On  the  road  between  New  Ulm  and  Mankato  are  over 
2,000;  Mankato  is  also  crowded.  The  people  here  are  in  a  state 
of  panic.  Tiiey  fear  to  see  our  forces  leave.  Although  we  may 
agree  that  much  of  this  dread  is  without  foundation,  nevertheless 
it  is  producing  disastrous  consequences  to  the  state.  The  people 
will  continue  to  i)our  down  the  valley,  carrying  consternation 
wherever  they  go,  their  property  in  the  meantime  abandoned  and 
going  to  ruin."' 

Wlien  William  J.  Sturgis,  bearer  of  dispatches  from  Fort 
Ridgley  to  Governor  Ramsey,  reached  him  at  Fort  Snelliug  on  the 
afternoon  of  August  19.  the  government  at  once  placed  ex-Gov- 
ernor Henry  II.  Sibley,  with  the  rank  of  colonel,  in  connnand  of 
the  forces  to  operate  against  the  Indians.  Just  at  this  time,  in 
response  to  President  Lincoln's  call  for  GOO, 000  volunteers,  there 
was  a  great  rush  of  Minnesotans  to  Fort  Snelling,  so  that  there 
was  no  lack  of  men,  but  there  was  an  almost  entire  want  of  arms 
and  equipment.  This  caused  some  delay,  but  Colonel  Sibley 
reached  St.  Peter  on  the  twenty-second.  Here  he  was  delayed 
until  the  twenty-sixth  and  reached  Fort  Ridgley  August  28.  A 
company  of  his  cavalry  ai'rived  at  the  fort  the  day  previous,  to 
the  great  joy  of  garrison  and  refugee  settlers. 

August  31  General  Sibley,  then  encamped  at  Fort  Ridgley 
with  his  entire  command,  dispatched  a  force  of  some  150  men, 
under  the  command  of  Maj.  Josei)h  R.  Brown,  to  the  Lower 
Agency,  with  instructions  to  bury  the  dead  of  Captain  Marsh's 
command  and  the  remains  of  all  settlers  found.  No  signs  of 
Indians  were  seen  at  the  agency,  which  they  visited  on  September 
1.     That  evening  they  encamped  near  Birch  Coulie,  about  200 


152  HISTORV  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

yards  from  the  timber.  This  was  a  fatal  mistake,  as  subseqneBt 
events  proved.  At  early  dawn  the  Sioux,  who  had  surrounded 
the  camp,  were  discovered  by  a  sentinel,  who  fired.  Instantly 
there  came  a  deadly  roar  from  hundreds  of  Indian  guns  all  around 
the  camp.  The  soldiers  sprang  to  their  feet,  and  in  a  few  minutes 
thirty  were  shot  down.  Thereafter  all  hugged  the  ground.  The 
horses  to  the  number  of  87  were  soon  killed,  and  furnished  a 
slight  protection  to  the  men,  who  dug  pits  with  spades  and 
bayonets.  General  Sibley  sent  a  force  of  240  men  to  their  relief, 
and  on  the  same  day  followed  with  his  entire  command.  On  the 
forenoon  of  September  3  they  reached  the  Coulie  and  the  Indians 
retreated.  Twenty-eight  whites  were  killed  and  sixty  wounded. 
The  condition  of  the  wounded  and  indeed  the  entire  force  was 
terrible.  They  had  been  some  forty  hours  wifliout  Avater,  under 
a  hot  sun,  surrounded  by  bloodthirsty,  howling  savages.  The 
dead  were  buried  and  the  wounded  taken  to  Port  Ridgley. 

After  the  battle  of  Birch  Coulie  many  small  war  parties  of 
Indians  started  for  the  settlements  to  the  Northwest,  burning 
houses,  killing  settlers  and  spreading  terror  throughout  that 
region.  There  were  minor  battles  at  Forest  City,  Acton,  Hutch- 
inson and  other  places.  Stockades  were  built  at  various  points. 
The  wife  and  two  children  of  a  settler,  a  mile  from  Richmond, 
were  killed  on  September  22.  Paynesville  was  abandoned  and 
all  but  two  houses  burned.  The  most  severe  fighting  with  the 
Indians  in  the  northwestern  settlements  was  at  Forest  City, 
Acton  and  Hutchinson,  on  September  3  and  4.  Prior  to  the  battle 
at  Birch  Coulie,  Little  Crow,  with  110  warriors,  started  on  a  raid 
to  the  Big  Woods  country.  They  encountered  a  company  of 
some  sixty  whites  under  Captain  Strout,  between  Glencoe  and 
Acton,  and  a  furious  fight  ensued,  Strout 's  force  finally  reaching 
Hutchinson,  with  a  loss  of  five  killed  and  seventeen  wounded. 
Next  day  Hutchinson  and  Forest  City,  where  stockades  had  been 
erected,  were  attacked,  but  the  Indians  finally  retired  without 
much  loss  on  either  side,  the  Indians,  however,  burning  many 
houses,  driving  otf  horses  and  cattle,  and  carrying  away  a  great 
deal  of  personal  property. 

Twenty-two  whites  were  killed  in  Kandiyohi  and  Swift  coun- 
ties by  war  parties  of  Sioux.  Unimportant  attacks  were  made 
upon  Fort  Abercrombie  on  September  3,  6,  26  and  29.  in  which  a 
few  whites  were  killed. 

There  was  great  anxiety  as  to  the  Chippewas.  Rumors  were 
rife  that  Hole-in-the-Day,  the  head  chief,  had  smoked  the  pipe 
of  peace  with  his  hereditary  enemies,  the  Sioux,  and  would  join 
them  in  a  war  against  the  whites.  There  was  good  ground  for 
these  apprehensions,  but  by  wise  counsel  and  advice.  Hole-in-the- 
Day  and  his  Chippewas  remained  passive. 

General  Sibley  was  greatly  delayed  in  his  movements  against 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  153 

tiif  Indiiiiis  In-  insufficiency  of  supplies,  want  of  cavalry  and 
pi'oixM-  supply  trains.  Early  in  September  he  moved  forAvard 
and  on  September  23,  at  Wood  Lake,  engaged  in  a  spirited  battle 
■with  500  Indians,  defeating  them  with  considerable  loss.  On  the 
twenty-sixth,  General  Sibley  moved  forward  to  the  Indian  camps. 
Little  Crow  and  his  followers  had  hastily  retreated  after  the 
battle  at  Wood  Lake  and  left  the  state.  Several  bauds  of  friendly 
Indians  remained,  and  througli  their  action  in  guarding  the  cap- 
tives they  were  saved  and  released,  in  all  ninety-one  whites  and 
150  half-breeds.  The  women  of  the  latter  had  been  subjected 
to  the  same  indignities  as  the  white  women. 

General  Sibley  proceeded  to  arrest  all  Indians  suspected  of 
murder,  abuse  of  women  and  other  outrages.  Eventually  425 
were  tried  by  a  military  commission,  303  being  sentenced  to  death 
and  eighteen  to  imprisonment.  President  Lincoln  commuted  the 
sentence  of  all  but  forty.  He  was  greatly  censured  for  doing 
this,  and  much  resentment  was  felt  against  him  by  those  whose 
relatives  had  suffered.  Of  the  forty,  one  died  before  the  day 
fixed  for  execution,  and  one,  Henry  Milord,  a  half-breed,  had  his 
sentence  commuted  to  imprisonment  for  life  in  the  penitentiary; 
so  that  thirty-eight  only  were  hung.  The  execution  took  place  at 
Mankato,  December  26,  1862. 

The  Battle  of  Wood  Lake  ended  the  campaign  against  the 
Sioux  for  that  year.  Small  war  parties  occasionally  raided  the 
settlements,  creating  "scares"'  and  excitement,  but  the  main  body 
of  Indians  left  the  state  for  Dakota.  Little  Crow  and  a  son 
returned  in  1863,  and  on  July  3  was  killed  near  Hutchinson  by 
a  farmer  named  Nathan  Lamson.  In  1863  and  1864  expeditions 
against  the  Indians  drove  them  across  the  Missouri  river,  defeat- 
ing them  in  several  battles.  Thus  Minnesota  was  forever  freed 
from  danger  from  the  Sioux. 

In  November,  1862,  three  mouths  after  the  outbreak,  Indian 
Agent  Thomas  J.  Galbraith  prepared  a  statement  giving  the  num- 
ber of  whites  killed  as  738.  Historians  Heard  and  Plandrau 
placed  the  killed  at  over  1,000. 

On  February  16,  1863,  the  treaties  before  that  time  existing 
between  the  United  States  and  the  Sioux  Indians  were  abrogated 
and  annulled,  and  all  lands  and  rights  of  occupancy  witliin  the 
State  of  IMinncsota,  and  all  annuities  and  claims  then  existing 
in  favor  of  said  Indians  were  declared  forfeited  to  the  United 
States. 

These  Indians,  in  the  language  of  the  act,  had,  in  the  year 
1862,  "made  unprovoked  aggression  and  most  savage  war  upon 
the  L^nited  States,  and  massacred  a  large  number  of  men.  Avomen 
and  children  within  the  State  of  Minnesota;"  and  as  in  this  war 
and  massacre  they  had  "destroyed  and  damaged  a  large  amount 
of   property,    and    thereby    forfVited    all    just    claims"    to   their 


154  lllSTOIi'V  CF  KENVILLE  COUNTY 

"monies  and  annuities  to  the  United  States,""  the  act  provides 
that  "two-thirds  of  the  balance  remaining  unexpended"'  of  their 
annuities  for  the  fiscal  year,  not  exceeding  one  hundred  thousand 
dollars,  and  the  further  sum  of  one  hundred  thousand  dollars, 
being  two-thirds  of  the  annuities  becoming  due,  and  payable  dur- 
ing the  next  fiscal  year,  should  be  appropriated  and  paid  over 
to  three  commissioners  appointed  by  the  President,  to  be  by  them 
apportioned  among  the  heads  of  families,  or  their  survivors,  who 
sutfered  damage  by  the  depredations  of  said  Indians,  or  the  troops 
of  the  United  States  in  the  war  against  thera,  not  exceeding  the 
sum  of  two  hundred  dollars  to  any  one  family,  nor  more  than 
actual  damage  sustained.  All  claims  for  damages  were  required, 
by  the  act,  to  be  presented  at  certain  times,  and  according  to  the 
rules  prescribed  by  the  commissioners,  who  should  hold  their  first 
session  at  St.  Peter,  in  the  State  of  ^Minnesota,  on  or  before  the 
first  Monday  of  April,  and  make  and  return  their  finding,  and  all 
the  papers  relating  thereto,  on  or  before  the  first  I\Ionday  in 
December,  1863. 

The  President  ai)pointed  for  this  duty,  and  with  the  advice 
and  consent  of  the  Senate,  the  lions.  Albert  S.  White,  of  the  State 
of  Indiana:  Eli  R.  Chase,  of  Wisconsin,  and  (_'yrus  Aldrich,  of 
Minnesota. 

The  duties  of  this  l)oard  were  so  vigorously  prosecuted,  that, 
by  November  1  following  their  appointment,  some  twenty  thou- 
sand sheets  of  legal  cap  paper  had  been  consumed  in  reducing  to 
writing  the  testimony  under  the  law  requiring  the  commissioners 
to  report  the  testimony  in  writing,  and  proper  decisions  made 
requisite  to  the  payment  of  the  two  hundred  dollars  to  that  class 
of  sufferers  designated  by  the  act  of  Congress. 

On  February  21  following  the  annulling  of  the  treaty  with  the 
Sioux  above  named.  Congress  jjassed  an  act  for  the  i-emoval 
of  the  W^innebago  Indians,  and  the  sale  of  their  reservation  in 
Minnesota  for  their  benefit.  "The  money  arising  from  the  sale 
of  their  lands,  after  paying  their  iudebtedness,  is  to  be  paid  into 
the  treasury  of  the  United  States,  and  expended,  as  the  same  is 
received,  under  the  direction  of  the  Secretary  of  the  Interior,  in 
necessary  improvements  upon  their  uew  reservation.  The  lands 
in  the  new  reservation  are  to  be  allotted  in  severalty,  not  exceed- 
ing eighty  acres  to  each  head  of  a  family,  except  to  the  chiefs, 
to  whom  larger  allotments  may  be  made,  to  be  vested  by  jjatent 
in  the  Indian  and  his  heirs,  without  the  right  of  alienation." 

These  sevei'al  acts  of  the  general  government  moderated  to 
some  extent  the  demand  of  the  people  for  the  execution  of  the 
condemned  Sioux  yet  in  the  military  prison  at  Mankato  awaiting 
the  final  decision  of  the  Presidnit.  The  removal  of  the  Indians 
from  the  borders  of  Minnesota,  and  the  opening  up  for  settlement 
of-  over  a  million  of  acres  of  superior  land,  was  a   prospective 


HISTORY  OF  KENVILLE  COUNTY  155 

l)ciicfit  to  till'  SUitc  of  iimiiciisc  \'iiliif,  hotli  in  its  donicstie  quiet 
and  its  rapid  advaiici'inout  in  inatiM-ial  wealth. 

In  piirsnanei'  of  tlie  acts  of  Coiigi-css,  on  April  22,  and  for  the 
purpose  of  carrying  them  into  execution,  the  condemned  Indians 
were  fii'st  taken  from  the  State,  on  board  the  steamboat  Favorite, 
carried  down  the  Mississippi,  and  confined  at  Davenport,  in  the 
State  of  Iowa,  wliere  they  remained,  with  only  such  privileges 
as  are  allowed  to  convicts  in  the  penitentiary.  Many  of  tlicni 
died  as  the  result  of  the  confinement. 

On  May  4,  1863,  at  six  o'clock  in  the  afternoon,  certain  others 
of  tlie  Sioux  Indians,  squaws  and  pappooses,  in  all  about  seven- 
teen hundred,  left  Fort  Snelling,  on  board  the  steamboat  Daven- 
port, for  their  new  reservation  on  the  Upper  Missouri,  above  Fort 
Randall,  accompanied  by  a  strong  guard  of  soldiers,  and  attended 
by  certain  of  the  missionaries  and  employes,  the  whole  being 
under  the  general  direction  of  Superintendent  Clark  "W. 
Thompson. 

CflAPTER  XT. 
REDWOOD  FERRY  AMBUSCADE. 

Captain  Marsh  and  His  Company  Start  on  Expedition — Fugitives 
Met — Ferry  Reached — Parley  with  Indian — Concealed  Indians 
Start  Firing- — Attempt  to  Swim  River — Captain  Marsh 
Drowrned — Casualties — Disastrous  Resvilt. 

The  startling  news  of  the  tragic  scenes  at  tJie  Lower  Agency 
reached  Fort  Ridgely  at  about  10  o'clock  on  that  day  (August  18, 
1862),  but  the  extent  and  formidable  cliai'aeter  of  the  great 
Indian  uj)rising  were  not  understood  until  several  hoiirs  later. 
The  messenger  who  bore  the  shocking  tidings  was  J.  C.  Dickinson, 
the  proprietor  of  a  boarding  house  at  the  agency,  and  who 
brought  with  him  a  wagon  load  of  refugees,  nearly  all  women 
and  children.  Captain  Marsh  was  in  command  of  the  fort,  with 
his  company  (B,  Fifth  Minnesota),  as  a  garrison.  Lieutenant  T. 
J.  Sheehan,  with  Company  C  of  the  same  regiment,  had  been  dis- 
patched to  Fort  Ripley,  on  the  Upper  Mississippi,  near  St.  Cloud. 

Sending  a  messenger  with  orders  to  Lieutenant  Sheehan  recall- 
ing him  to  Fort  Ridgely  and  informing  him  that  the  Indians  were 
"raising  Hell  at  the  Lower  Agency."  Captain  Marsh  at  once  i)re- 
pared  to  go  to  the  scene  of  what  seemed  to  be  the  sole  locality 
of  the  troubles.  He  was  not  informed  and  had  no  instinctive 
or  derived  idea  of  the  magnitude  of  the  outbreak.  Leaving  abotit 
twenty  men,  under  Lieutenant  T.  P.  Gere,  to  hold  the  fort  until 
Lieutenant  Sheehan "s  return.  Captain  Marsh,  with  about  fifty 
men  of  his  company  and  the  old  Indian  interi)i-eter,  Peter  Quinn, 


156  HISTOKY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

set  out  for  the  agency,  distant  about  twelve  or  fourteen  miles  to 
the  nortliwest.  On  leaving  Fort  Ridgely  the  captain  and  the 
interpreter  were  mounted  on  mules;  the  men  Avere  on  foot,  but 
the  captain  had  directed  that  teams,  with  extra  ammunition  and 
empty  wagons  for  their  transportation,  should  follow,  and  Gen- 
eral Hubbard's  account,  in  Volume  I  of  "Minnesota  in  the  Civil 
and  Indian  "Wars,"  sajs  that  these  wagons  overtook  the  com- 
mand "about  three  miles  out." 

In  due  time  the  little  command  came  to  the  Redwood  Ferry, 
but  there  is  confusion  in  the  printed  accounts  as  to  the  exact 
time.  Sergeant  Bishop  says  it  was  "about  12  o'clock  noon." 
Heard  says  it  was  "at  sundown,"  or  about  6  o'clock.  Some  of 
the  Indians  remember  the  time  as  in  the  evening,  while  others 
say  it  was  in  the  afternoon.  As  the  men  were  in  wagons  the 
greater  pai-t  of  the  way.  the  distance,  allowing  for  sundry  halts, 
ought  to  have  been  compassed  in  four  hours  at  the  farthest.  Half 
way  across  the  bottom  the  captain  ordered  the  men  from  the 
wagons  and  marched  them  on  foot  perhaps  a  mile  to  the  ferry 
house  and  landing. 

ileantinie  on  the  way.  the  soldiers  had  met  some  fifty  fugitives 
and  seen  the  bodies  of  many  victims  of  the  massacre. 

The  motives  of  the  heroic  and  martyred  Captain  3Iarsh  have 
often  been  discussed  by  historians  and  others.  He  was  an  officer 
of  sound  sense  and  good  judgment,  and  had  already  come  in  inti- 
mate contact  with  Indian  life  and  action,  and  knew  of  their  dis- 
content and  their  desiderate  mood. 

"While  hi'  did  not  realize  the  general  character  of  tlie  massacre 
he  nuist  have  tuiderstood  that  a  considerable  niunber  of  Indians 
were  engaged  in  it.  The  language  of  his  dispatch  to  Lieutenant 
Sheehan,  however,  would  indicate  that  he  at  that  time  believed 
the  trouble  to  be  strictly  local  and  confined  to  the  Redwood 
Agency. 

Some  historians  have  tliouglit  that  he  had  confidence  that  his 
force  was  strong  enough  to  punish  the  guilty  Indians  and  to  bring 
the  others  to  a  sense  of  law  and  order.  Other  historians  believe 
that  he  realized  something  of  the  danger  before  he  left  the  fort. 
and  that  his  realization  of  his  danger  increased  as  he  continued 
on  the  journey,  bitt  that  as  a  soldier  and  an  officer  he  could  do 
nothing  else  than  to  keej^  on  until  he  met  the  murderous  Indians 
and  the  God  of  Battles  had  determined  the  issue  between  them. 
Possibly  he  believed  that  the  Indians  upon  seeing  the  uniformed 
soldiers  would  realize  the  enormity  of  their  ofilense  and  the  swift 
punishment  which  they  were  likely  to  meet  at  the  hands  of  the 
organized  and  equipped  military  forces.  Possibly  he  believed 
that  the  powerful  chiefs  Avould  come  to  their  senses  at  the  sight 
of  the  soldiers  and  confer  with  him  with  a  view  to  co-oi3erating 
with  the  government  in  punishing  the  guilty. 


HISTORY  OF  RENX'ILLE  COl'XTV  157 

I'fli'r  f.^liiiiin,  till-  olil  interpreter  witli  his  foi-ty  yeafs"  experi- 
eiu-e  iiiiioiig  the  Sioux  in  Jlimipsota,  knew  tlie  danger  to  be  serious. 
On  leaving  Ft.  Kidgely  M-itli  Captain  Marsh  and  his  men  he  said 
to  Sutler  B.  H.  Kandall :  "I  am  sure  we  are  going  into  great 
danger:  I  do  not  expect  to  return  alive."  Then  witli  tears  in 
his  eyes  he  continued:    "Good-bye,  give  my  love  to  all."" 

R.  A.  Randall,  a  son  of  B.  11.  Randall,  declares  that  his  lather 
remonstrated  with  Captain  Marsh,  urging  upon  him  the  gravity 
of  the  situation  and  the  necessity  of  staying  at  the  fort  to  pro- 
tect the  refugees  who  might  seek  safety  there.     Captain  ilarsh 

at  first  listened  to  the  remonstrance  and  ditenni 1  to  stay  at 

the  fort.  But  later  he  changed  his  mind.  He  was  a  soldier,  his 
di.ty  was  to  punish  the  murderous  assassins,  and  he  coidd  not 
sit  idly  in  the  fort  while  the  guilty  were  allowed  to  go  on  their 
way  to  further  crimes.  "It  is  my  duty.""  he  said  to  Sutler  Randall 
as  he  started. 

There  is  some  evidence  that  as  the  ferry  was  readied  the  cap- 
tain realized  the  peril  of  the  situation  and  the  hopelessness  of  his 
task  with  so  inadequate  a  force,  and  had  given,  or  was  about  to 
gi\-e.  his  men  order  to  retire  ,iust  as  they  were  fii'ed  upon. 

Return  I.  Ilolcombe,  the  author  of  nearly  all  of  this  eha|)ter, 
sa.vs:  "Tlie  weight  of  evidence  tends  to  prove  eitiier  that  .Marsh 
did  not  realize  the  extent  of  tin-  outbreak  and  tlic  grave  peril  of 
his  position,  or  else  he  was  nobly  oblivious  to  his  own  welfare  and 
determined  to  do  his  duty  as  he  saw  it."" 

When  Captain  Marsh  nud  the  men  under. him  reached  the  crest 
of  Faribault  "s  Plill  tliey  saw  to  the  southward,  over  two  miles 
aM-ay,  on  the  prairie  about  the  agency,  a  number  of  mounted 
Indians;  of  course  the  Indians  could  and  did  see  Marsh  and  his 
party.  Knowledge  of  the  coming  of  the  soldiers  had  already 
reached  the  Indians  from  marauders  who  had  been  down  the 
valley  engaged  in  their  dreadful  work,  and  preparations  were 
nuide  to  receive  them.  Scores  of  warriors,  with  bows  and  guns, 
repaired  to  the  ferry  landing,  where  it  was  known  the  party 
must  come.  Numbers  crossed  on  the  ferry  boat  to  the  north 
side  of  the  river  and  concealed  themselves  in  the  willow  thickets 
near  by.  The  boat  was  finally  moored  to  the  bank  on  the  east  or 
north  side,  "in  apparent  readiness  for  the  command  to  use  for 
its  crossing,  though  the  dead  body  of  the  ferryman  had  been 
found  on  the  road,"  says  General  Hubbard. 

Of  the  brave  and  faithful  ferryman.  Rev.  S.  D.  Ilinman,  who 
made  his  escape  from  the  agency,  has  written : 

"The  ferryman,  Mayley,  who  resolutely  ferried  across  the 
river  at  the  agency  all  who  desired  to  cross,  was  killed  on  tlie 
other  side,  jnst  as  he  had  passed  the  last  man  over.  He  was  dis- 
emboweled :  his  head,  hands  and  feet  cut  off  and  thrust  into  the 


158  lIIST'iKV  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

cavity.  Obscure  Frencliman  though  he  -was.  the  blood  of  uo 
nobler  hero  dyed  the  batth'fiekls  of  Marathon  or  Thermopylae." 

Wheu  tlie  command  reached  the  ferry  landing  only  one  Indian 
could  be  seen.  Tliis  was  Shonka-ska,  or  White  Dog',  who  was 
standing  on  the  west  bank  of  the  river,  in  plain  view.  For  some 
time  he  had  been  "Indian  fanner"'  at  the  Lower  Agency,  engaged 
in  teaching- his  red  brethren  how  to  plow  and  to  cultivate  the  soil 
geiierally,  receiving  therefor  a  salary  from  tlie  government.  He 
had,  however,  been  removed  from  his  position,  whicli  had  been 
given  to  Ta-o-pi  (pronounced  Tah-o-pee,  and  meaning  wounded), 
another  Christian  Indian.  White  Dog  bore  a  general  good  rejju- 
tation  in  the  country  until  tlu'  outbreak,  and  many  yet  assert 
that  he  has  been  misrepresented  and  unjustly  accused. 

A  conversation  in  tlie  Sioux  language  was  held  between  White 
Dog  and  Interpreter  (^uinii,  Ca]itain  IMarsh  suggesting  most  of 
the  questions  put  to  the  Indian  through  tlu'  interpreter.  There 
are  two  versions  of  this  conversation.  The  surviving  soldiers  say 
that,  as  they  luiderstood  it,  and  as  it  was  interpreted  by  Mr. 
Quinn,  White  Dog  assured  Captain  ^Marsh  that  there  was  no 
serious  danger;  that  the  Indians  were  willing,  and  were  waiting, 
to  hold  a  council  at  the  agency  to  settle  matters,  and  that  the 
men  could  cross  on  the  ferry  boat  in  safety,  etc.  On  the  other 
hand  certain  Indian  friends  of  Wliite  Dog.  who  were  present, 
have  always  elainunl  that  he  did  not  use  the  treacherous  language 
imputed  to  him,  but  plainly  told  tlie  interpreter  to  say  to  the 
captain  that  he  and  his  men  must  not  attempt  to  cross,  and  that 
they  should  "go  back  quick."  However.  White  Dog  was  sub- 
sequently tried  by  a  military  commission  on  a  charge  of  dis- 
loyalty and  treachery,  found  guilty,  and  hung  at  Mankato.  He 
insisted  on  his  innocence  to  the  last. 

While  the  conversation  between  White  Dog  and  Interpreter 
Quinn  was  yet  in  progress  the  latter  exclaimed,  "Look  out!" 
The  next  instant  came  a  volley  of  bullets  and  some  arrows  from 
the  concealed  foe  on  the  opposite  bank  of  the  i-iver.  This  was 
accompanied  and  followed  by  yells  and  whoops  and  renewed 
firing,  this  time  from  tlie  Indians  on  both  sides  of  the  river.  They 
were  armed  chiefly  with  double-barreled  shotguns  loaded  with 
"traders"  balls,"'  and  their  firing  at  the  short  distance  was  very 
destructive.  Pierced  with  a  dozen  bullets,  Interpreter  Quinn  was 
shot  dead  from  his  saddle  at  the  first  fire,  and  his  body  was  after- 
ward well  stuck  with  arrows.  A  dozen  or  more  soldiers  were 
killed  outriglit  and  many  wounded  by  the  first  volley. 

Although  the  sudden  and  fierce  attack  by  overwhelming  num- 
bers was  most  demoralizing.  Captain  ^larsh  retained  liis  presence 
of  mind  sufficiently  to  .steady  his  men,  to  form  them  in  line  for 
defense,  and  to  have  them  fire  at  least  one  volley.  But  now  the 
Indians  were  in  great  numbers  on  the  same  side  of  the  river,  only 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  159 

a  few  yards  away.  They  had  secured  possession  of  the  log  ferry 
house,  from  wliieh  they  could  fire  as  from  a  block  house,  and 
they  were  in  the  thickets  all  about.  Many  of  them  were  naked 
except  as  to  breech  clouts.  Across  the  river  near  the  bank  were 
numbers  behind  the  logs  belonging  to  the  ageney  steam  saw  mill, 
and  a  circle  of  enemies  was  rapidly  being  completed  about  the 
little  band. 

Below  the  ferry  a  few  rods  was  a  dense  willow  thicket,  from 
two  to  ten  rods  in  width  anil  running  down  the  north  or  east 
bank  of  the  river  for  a  mile  or  more.  Virtually  cutting  or  forc- 
ing their  way  through  the  Indians.  Captain  IMarsh  and  fourteen 
of  his  men  succeeded  in  reaching  this  thicket,  from  which  they 
kept  up  a  fight  for  about  two  hours.  The  Indians  poured  volleys 
at  random  from  all  sides  into  the  thick  covert,  but  the  soldiers 
lay  close  to  the  ground  and  but  few  of  them  were  struck.  Two 
men,  named  Sutherland  and  Blodgett,  were  shot  through  the 
body  and  remained  where  they  fell  until  afti>r  dark,  when  they 
crawled  out,  and  finding  an  old  canoe  floated  down  the  river  and 
reached  Fort  Ridgely  the  next  day.  Of  a  party  of  five  that  had 
taken  refuge  in  another  thicket  three  were  killed  before  dark. 
One  of  the  survivors,  Thomas  Parsley,  remained  in  the  thicket 
with  his  dead  comrades  until  late  at  night,  when  he,  too,  escaped 
and  made  his  way  to  the  foi't. 

Gradually  the  imperiled  soldiers  worked  their  way  througli 
the  thick  grass  and  brush  of  the  jiuigle  in  which  they  were  con- 
cealed luitil  tliey  had  gone  some  distance  east  of  the  ferry.  Mean- 
time they  had  kept  iip  a  fight,  using  their  ammunition  carefully, 
but  under  the  circumstances  almost  ineiifectually.  The  Indians 
did  not  attempt  to  charge  them  or  "rush"'  their  position,  for 
this  was  not  the  Indian  style  of  warfare.  Of  the  second  great 
casualty  of  the  day  Sergeant  John  F.  Bishop  says: 

"About  4  o'clock  i>.  m.,  wlien  our  ammunition  was  reduced  to 
not  more  than  four  rounds  to  a  man.  Captain  I\Iarsh  ordered  his 
men  to  swim  the  river  and  try  and  work  our  way  down  on  the 
west  side.  He  entered  the  river  first  and  swam  to  about  tlie 
center  and  there  went  down  with  a  cramp." 

Some  of  the  men  went  to  the  captain's  assistance,  but  were 
unable  to  save  him.  He  was  unwounded  and  died  from  the  elfects 
of  the  paralyzing  cramps  whicli  seized  him.  Some  days  aftei-w;nils 
his  body  was  found  in  a  drift,  miles  below  wliere  it  sank. 

The  ground  where  Captain  Marsh  and  his  company  were 
ambuscaded  was,  as  has  been  stated,  at  and  about  the  ferry  land- 
ing on  the  north  side  of  the  Minnesota  river,  opposite  the  Lower 
agency.  From  the  landing  on  the  south  sid(>  two  roads  had  been 
graded  up  the  steep  higli  bluff  to  the  agency  buildings,  and  from 
the  north  landing  the  road  stretched  diagonally  across  the  wide 
river  bottom   to  the  huge  corrugated  bluffs,  two  miles  or  more 


360  lllSToiiV   Ui-'  iiE.WlLLE  COUNTY 

away,  at  Faribault's  Hill.  The  liill  was  so  uamecl  for  David  Fari- 
bault, a  mixed  blood  Sioux,  and  a  son  of  old  John  Baptiste  P'ari- 
bault,  and  who  lived  at  the  base  of  the  hill.  He  and  his  fanaily 
were  made  prisoners  bj-  the  Indians  and  held  during  the  outbreak. 
At  Faribault's  Hill  the  road  divided,  one  fork  leading  up  the  hill 
and  over  tlie  prairie  to  the  eastward  and  northwest,  running  along 
the  crest  of  the  bluff  to  Fort  Eidgely.  The  other  followed  the 
base  of  the  bluff  down  the  river.  There  were  two  or  three  houses 
between  the  ferry  landing  and  the  bluff,  and  at  the  landing  itself 
was  a  house.  All  about  the  landing  on  the  north  side  the  ground 
of  the  main  ambush  was  open :  it  is  now  covered  with  willows  and 
other  small  growtlis  of  the  nature  of  underbrush. 

After  the  drowning  of  Captain  Marsh,  the  command,  consist- 
ing of  fifteen  men,  devolved  upon  Sergeant  John  F.  Bishop.  The 
men  then  resumed  their  slow  and  toilsome  progress  toward  the 
fort.  Five  of  them,  including  the  sergeant,  were  wounded,  one 
of  them.  Private  Ole  Svendson,  so  badly  that  he  had  to  be  carried. 
The  Indians,  for  some  reason,  did  not  pi-ess  the  attack  further, 
after  the  drowning  of  Captain  Marsh,  and  all  of  them,  except 
Ezekiel  Eose,  Vviio  was  Avounded  and  lost  his  way,  reached  Fort 
Eidgely  (BishoiD  says  at  10  o'clock)  that  night.  Eose  wandered 
oft'  into  the  country  and  was  finally  picked  up  near  Henderson. 
Five  miles  from  the  fort  Bishop  sent  forward  Privates  James 
Dunn  and  W.  B.  Hutchinson,  with  information  of  the  disaster,  to 
Lieutenant  Gere. 

The  loss  of  the  Avhites  was  one  officer  (Caj^taiu  Marsh) 
drowned :  twenty-four  men,  including  twenty-three  soldiers,  and 
Interpreter  Quinn,  killed,  and  five  men  wounded.  The  Indians 
had  one  man  killed,  a  young  warrior  of  the  Wahpakoota  band, 
named  To-wa-to,  or  All  Blue.  When  the  band  lived  at  or  near 
Faribault  this  To-wa-to  was  known  for  his  fondness  for  fine  dress 
and  for  his  gallantries.  He  was  a  dandy  and  a  Lothario,  but  he 
was  no  coward. 

The  aft'air  at  Eedwood  Fei-ry  was  most  influential  upon  the 
character  of  the  Indian  outbreak.  It  was  a  complete  Indian  vic- 
tory. A  majority  of  the  soldiers  had  been  killed ;  their  guns, 
amnuinitiou  and  equipments  had  fallen  into  the  hands  of  the 
victors;  tlie  first  attempt  to  interfere  with  the  savage  programme 
had  been  signally  repulsed,  all  witli  tlie  loss  of  but  one  man. 
Those  of  the  savages  who  had  favored  the  war  from  the  first  were 
jubilant  over  what  had  been  accomplished  and  confident  of  the 
final  and  general  result.  There  had  been  but  the  feeblest  resist- 
ance on  the  part  of  the  settlers  who  had  been  nuirdered  that  day, 
and  the  defense  made  by  the  soldiers  had  amounted  to  nothing. 
There  was  the  general  remark  in  the  Indian  camps  that  the 
whites,  with  all  of  their  vaunted  bravery,  were  "as  easy  to  kill 
as  sheep. 


HISTORY  OF  KENVILLE  COUNTY  161 

Before  tlie  successful  ambuscade  tlu-re  had  \n-vn  uppreliciisiou 
«moug  iiiaiiy  of  the  Indians  that  the  outbreak  would  soon  be  sup- 
pressed, and  tliey  liad  hesitated  about  engafriii^  in  it.  There  were 
also  those  who  at  least  were  loyal  and  faithful  to  the  whites  and 
wotdd  take  no  ]iai-t  in  tiie  uprising.  But  after  the  destruction  of 
Captain  I\Iarsh  and  his  eonniiand  all  outward  opposition  to  the 
war  was  swept  away  in  tin;  wild  torrent  of  exultation  and 
enthusiasm  created  by  the  victory.    Heard  says: 

■"The  Indians  were  highly  JTibilant  over  this  success.  What- 
ever of  doubt  there  was  before  among  some  of  the  propriety  of 
embarking  in  tiic  massacre  disappeared,  and  the  Lower  Indians 
beeanu-  a  unit  upon  the  question.  Their  dead  enemies  were  lying 
all  ai'ound  them,  and  their  camp  was  filled  with  captives.  They 
had  taken  plenty  of  arms,  powder,  lead,  provisions  and  clothing. 
The  'Farmer'  Indians  and  members  of  the  church,  fearing,  like 
all  other  renegades,  that  suspicion  of  Avant  of  zeal  in  the  cause 
would  rest  upon  them,  to  avoid  tliis  suspicion  became  more  bloody 
and  brutal  in  their  language  and  conduct  than  tiie  others." 

If  Cai)tain  ^larsh  had  succeeded  in  fighting  his  way  across  the 
river  and  into  the  agency,  thereby  dispersing  the  savages,  it  is 
probable  that  the  great  red  rebellion  would  have  been  suppressed 
in  less  than  half  the  tinu;  which  was  actually  required.  The 
friendly  Indians  w-ould  doubtless  have  been  encouraged  and 
stinudated  to  open  and  even  aggressive  manifestations  of  loyalty; 
the  dubious  and  Ihc  timid  \\'ould  have  been  awed  into  inactivity 
and  quiescence.  As  it  was,  the  disaster  to  ti:e  little  band  of  sol- 
diers fanned  the  fires  of  the  rebellion  into  a  gi'eat  conflagration 
of  nuu'der  and  rapine. 

Immediately  after  the  desti'uction  of  Captain  .Marsh's  com- 
pany at  the  ferry  Little  Crow  dispatched  about  twenty-five  young 
mounted  warriors  to  watch  Fort  Kidgely  and  its  approaches. 
About  midnight  these  scouts  reported  that  a  company  of  some 
fifty  men  was  coming  toward  the  fort  on  the  road  from  Hutch- 
inson to  Kidgely.  Little  Crow  then  believed  that  the  garrison 
at  Ridgely  did  not  number  more  than  seventy-five  and  that  it 
would  be  a  comparatively  easy  matter  to  capture  the  fort  with 
its  stores,  its  cannon  and  its  inmates.  At  the  time  he  did  not 
know  that  the  Renville  Rangers  had  retui-ned  from  St.  Peter  and 
reinforced  the  garrison. 

Tuesday  morning,  August  19,  Little  Crow  with  320  warriors 
from  all  of  the  Ijower  bands  except  Shakopee's — only  the  best 
men  being  taken — set  out  from  the"  agency  village  to  capture 
Fort  Ridgely.  Half  way  down  dissensions  arose  among  the  rank 
and  file.  A  majority  wanted  tO' abandon  the  attack  on  the  fort 
temporarily  and  to  first  ravage  the  country  south  of  the  Minne- 
sota, and  if  possible  seize  New  Tim.  Little  Crow  urged  that  the 
fort  be  taken  first,  before  it  could  be  reinforced,  but  this  prudent 


162  HISTORY  OF  KEXVILLE  COUNTY 

counsel  did  not  avail  with  those  who  were  fairly  ravenous  for 
murder  and  plunder,  which  might  be  accomplished  without 
danger,  and  cared  less  about  the  risk  of  attacking  the  fort,  which 
would  be  defended  by  men  with  muskets,  even  though  its  capture 
would  be  a  great  military  exploit.  About  200  of  this  faction  left 
and  repaired  to  the  settlements  in  Brown  county  about  New  Ulm 
and  on  the  Cottonwood,  Little  Crow,  with  about  120  men, 
remained  in  the  vicinity  of  the  fort  watching  and  waiting. 

The  attack  and  siege  of  Ft.  Ridgely.  which  took  place  after  the 
Redwood  disaster  and  before  the  Battle  of  Birch  Cooley,  is  de- 
scribed elsewhere. 


CHAPTER  XII. 
BATTLE  OF  BIRCH  COOLEY. 

Second  Expedition  Sets  Out — Encampment  at  Birch  Cooley— 
Attacked  by  the  Indians — Heroic  Defense — Inaction  of  Rescue 
Party — Relief  by  Sibley. 

The  incidents  preceding  the  battle  of  Birch  Cooley  are  briefly 
related.  General  H.  H.  Sibley  occupied  Fort  Ridgely  with  his 
relief  force  on  the  twenty-seventh  of  August,  nine  days  after  the 
beginning  of  the  outbreak.  On  the  thirty-first  he  dispatched  a 
force  of  about  150  men  to  the  Lower  agency  with  instructions  to 
ascertain  if  possible  the  position  and  condition  of  the  Indians, 
and  to  bury  the  bodies  of  the  victims  of  the  massacre  which  might 
be  found  en  route.  This  force,  which  was  under  the  command  of 
Major  Joseph  R.  Brown,  the  well-known  prominent  character  in 
early  Minnesota  history,  and  then  acting  as  major  of  a  newly 
organized  militia  regiment,  was  composed  of  Company  A,  Sixth 
Minnesota  Infantry,  under  Captain  H.  P.  Grant :  seventy  mounted 
men  of  the  Cullen  Guards  under  Captain  Joseph  Anderson ;  a 
detail  of  other  soldiers  from  the  Sixth  Regiment  and  the  militia 
force,  seventeen  teamsters  with  teams,  and  some  unorganized 
volunteer  soldiers  and  citizens.  The  next  evening  several  of  the 
citizens  returned  to  the  fort. 

The  command  reached  the  agency  on  the  tirst  of  September. 
Captain  Grant,  with  his  company  and  the  wagons,  proceeded  up 
the  valley,  on  the  north  side  of  tlie  Minnesota,  to  the  mouth  of 
the  Beaver  creek,  thence  up  the  creek  about  three  miles,  and  then 
marched  east  about  six  miles  to  near  the  head  of  Birch  Cooley. 
This  portion  of  the  command  buried  the  bodies  of  Captain  Marsh  "s 
men  killed  at  Redwood  Ferry  and  those  of  perhaps  forty  citizens 
at  various  points  on  the  route.  On  Beaver  creek  "some  thirty 
bodies'"  were  buried,  according  to  Captain  Grant.     On  the  way. 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  163 

too,  in  the  Minnesota  bottom,  a  German  woman,  named  Mrs. 
.Tiistiiia  Krieger,  who  had  been  badly  wounded  by  the  Indians, 
and  was  hiding  in  a  marsh,  was  rescued  and  carried  along. 

^lajor  Brown  and  Captain  Anderson,  with  the  "Cullen 
Guards,"  crossed  the  river  at  the  Redwood  Ferry,  went  to  the 
agency,  buried  the  bodies  of  the  slain  there  and  went  up  the 
river,  or  westward,  to  the  location  of  Little  Crow 's  village,  which 
the  Indians  had  abandoned  a  few  days  previously.  Nothing  was 
seen  which  in  the  opinions  of  Major  Brown,  who  for  thirty  years 
had  been  intimate  with  the  Indians  and  the  country ;  Major  T.  J. 
Galbraith,  the  Indian  agent ;  Alexander  Faribault,  for  whom  the 
city  of  that  name  was  called,  and  his  son,  George  Faribault,  both 
mixed  blood .  Sioux,  and  Jack  Prazier,  a  half-breed,  indicated 
that  a  liostile  Indian  had  been  in  that  vicinity  for  four  days, 
although  careful  examination  was  made.  Reerossing  the  Minne- 
sota at  a  ford  opposite  Little  Crow's  village  the  party  ascended 
the  bluff  on  the  north  side  and  reaching  the  prairie  rode  east- 
ward to  the  Birch  Cooley,  where  Captain  Grant  "s  company  had 
already  encamped. 

The  camp  selected  by  Captain  Grant  was  on  an  excellent  site. 
It  M-as  upon  level  ground,  convenient  to  wood  and  water,  and 
less  than  half  a  mile  from  a  road  running  between  Fort  Ridgely 
and  Fort  Abercrombie,  on  the  Red  River  of  the  North.  A  growth 
of  fairly  good  timber  fringed  the  Cooley  on  either  side,  and  in  the 
chaiini'l  was  plenty  of  good  running  water.  To  the  west,  north 
and  east  stretched  level  prairie  miles  in  extent.  In  his  report 
Major  Brown  says : 

"This  camp  was  made  in  the  usual  way,  on  the  smooth  prairie, 
some  200  yards  from  the  timber  of  Birch  Cooley,  with  the  wagons 
packed  around  the  camp  and  the  team  horses  fastened  to  the 
wagons.  The  horses  belonging  to  the  mounted  men  were  fastened 
to  a  stout  picket  rope,  between  the  tents  and  wagons,  around  the 
south  half  of  the  tent.  Captain  Anderson's  tents  were  behind 
these  horses,  and  Captain  Grant's  were  inside  the  wagons  which 
formed  the  north  half  of  the  camp." 

The  encampment  was  virtually,  therefore,  a  corral  in  its  form 
and  general  character.  Captain  Grant  detailed  thirty  men,  with 
a  lieutenant  and  two  non-commissioned  officers,  for  a  camp  guard, 
and  established  ten  picket  posts — -or  really  ten  camp  po.sts — at 
equal  distances  around  the  camp.  The  guard  was  divided  as 
usual  into  three  "reliefs."  Although  in  what  might  properly  be 
termed  the  enemy's  country,  no  danger  of  an  attack  was  appre- 
hended, and  therefore  no  picket  posts  worth  the  name  were  estab- 
lished. The  camp  guard  posts  were  only  about  100  yards  from 
the  corral.  Major  Brown  assured  the  men  that  they  might  sleep 
as  soundly  "as  if  in  their  mothers'  feather  beds,"  and  the  weary 
soldiers  lav  down  to  rest  in  fancied  securitv. 


164  HISTORY  OF  REXVII.LK  COrXTY 

At  the  time  of  the  battle  tlie  gromul  was  virgin  prairie.  Half 
a  mile  down  the  Cooler  was  the  cabin  and  claim  of  Peter  Pereau. 
a  Frenchman,  who  had  been  killed  and  his  family  taken  prisoners. 
A  number  of  other  settlers  living  farther  down  the  stream  had 
been  killed  and  some  of  tlieir  houses  burned.  The  land  where 
the  battle  was  fought  belonged  to  the  government  and  was  sub- 
sequently entered  and  occupied  by  William  Weiss,  from  whom 
it  was  purchased  by  the  State,  in  1896.  When  ilr.  W^eiss  entered 
the  laud,  in  1865,  the  rifle  pits  dug  by  the  beleaguered  soldiers, 
the  Ijones  of  the  horses  killed  and  other  evidences  of  the  fight 
were  plaiidy  visible. 

Of  a  truth  the  Indians  had  fallen  back  fi'om  the  Lower  Agency 
to  Yellow  ^ledicine  four  days  before  ilajor  Brown  reached  Little 
Crows  village.  During  the  siege  of  Fort  Ridgely  ilajor  Gal- 
braith.  the  Indian  agent,  had  sent  Antoine  Frenier,  a  gallant 
mixed-blood  Sioux  scout,  from  the  fort  up  the  valley,  and  Frenier 
had  gone  to  a  point  near  the  Yellow  Medicine  and  learned  that 
large  numbers  of  the  Indians  were  there.  But  on  his  return  the 
scout  Avas  cut  oft'  by  scattering  war  parties  and  prevented  from 
entering  the  fort,  and  was  forced  to  make  his  way  to  Henderson. 

Wheu  General  Sibley  arrived  at  Fort  Ridgely  he  sent  two 
good  and  wary  scouts,  George  McLeod  and  William  L.  Quinn, 
to  reconnoiter  and  to  discover  the  Indians"  position.  They  made 
the  i^erilous  ride  to  near  the  Yellow  ^Medicine,  discovered  that 
the  Indians  were  there  in  strong  force  and  returned  in  safety. 
Quinn  had  been  in  charge  of  Forges'  trading  house  at  the  Y'ellow 
Medicine,  and  his  family  Avere  prisoners  among  the  Sioux.  Riding 
in  the  night  in  tlie  Minnesota  bottom,  his  horse  shied  at  a  dead 
body  which,  by  the  gleam  of  a  flash  of  lightning,  he  saw  was  that 
of  his  former  clerk,  a  Frenclnnan  named  Louis  Constans.  Evei'y- 
thing  indicated  that  there  were  no  hostiles  east  of  the  Yellow 
Medicnie. 

The  Indians  had  left  their  villages  about  the  Lower  agency 
in  some  haste  and  alarm  after  their  repulse  and  defeat  at  Fort 
Ridgely.  With  the  exception  of  some  scouts  left  behind  to  watch 
the  whites,  they  retired  to  the  Yellow  Medicine  and  the  moutli 
of  the  Chippewa  river,  where  were  the  villages  of  the  Wahpeton 
band,  generally  composed  of  Sioux  not  openly  hostile  toward  the 
whites.  In  a  few  days  the  scouts  reported  that  Sibley  and  bis 
command  had  reached  Fort  Ridgely  and  that  New  Ulm  had  been 
evacuated.  Very  soon  the  Indians  determined  to  move  down  on 
the  south  .side  of  the  Minnesota  to  New  Ulm,  to  there  cross  the 
river  and  get  in  the  rear  of  Fort  Ridgely,  and  then  their  future 
operations  would  be  governed  by  circumstances.  At  the  same 
time  150  warriors  were  to  go  from  the  Yellow  Medicine  to  the 
"Big  Woods"  and  harass  the  counti-y  about  Forest  City  and 
Hutchinson,  and  seize  a  large  quantitj'  of  flour,  said  to  be  at  the 


HISTORY  OF  1JKN\II,I.K  (OrXTV  165 

(V'clai-  mill,  in  that  (luaittT.  Little  Cfow  took  charge  of  tiu'  ""Big 
Woods"  expedition  in  i)i'rsoii,  sfiidiiii;  the  rest  of  his  liaiid  under 
(ifay  IJird.  a  farmer  Indian,  Itnt  now  liittle  Ci'ow's  •'head  sol- 
dier,"" down  the  riN'er  with  thi'  other  l)an<U  of  Waliasha.  Waeouta, 
Ilusliasha,  Mankato,  Uiir  Kagle,  Shakopee  and  tiie  rest  of  the 
Medawakantons  and  Wjihpakootas.  The  savage  forces  left  the 
Yellow  .Medicine  on  the  thirty-tii'st   of  August, 

When,  on  the  evening  of  Septenilicr  1,  the  advance  of  tlie 
Indians  reached  Little  ('row"s  villatie,  on  the  high  bluff  on  the 
south  side  of  tlu^  ^Minnesota,  they  saw  on  the  north  side,  out  on 
the  praii'ie,  soiiu'  miles  away,  ('a|)1;iin  Anderson "s  company, 
inarcliing  from  Beaver  creek  eastward  toward  the  Birch  Cooley. 
They  also  saw  in  the  foi'iiier  village  signs  that  white  men  hail 
been  there  only  a  few  liours  before,  and,  from  the  trail  made 
wlien  they  left,  concluded  that  these  were  the  men  they  cotdd 
see  to  the  northwani.  Some  of  the  best  scouts  were  soon  sent 
across  the  valley  to  follow  the  movements  of  the  mounted  men, 
"creejiing  aci'oss  tJU'  iirairie  like  so  many  ants.""  A  little  after 
sundown  the  scouts  returned  with  the  inl'orniatiou  thai  the 
mounted  men  had  gone  into  camp  near  tlu'  lu-ad  of  i;ii-<-li  ( 'ooley, 
and  that  they  nund)ered  about  severd.\--fi ve  men.  At  this  time, 
ajul  until  they  attacked,  they  did  nut  know  of  the  presence  of 
Ca])tain  ({rant's  comjjany. 

Had  the  Indians  ])ersisted  in  their  oiiginal  phni  to  proci'ed 
(puetl.\-  on  theii'  wa.\-  <lown  the  south  side  of  the  river,  unobserved 
by  till'  whites,  and  jiaid  no  attcntio}i  to  the  company  of  motmted 
men  they  had  (liscovei'e(i.  the  result  would  have  been  most  dis- 
astrous. But,  with  their  hundreds  of  warrioi's.  the  ti>m])tation 
to  fall  upon  the  small  and  ajipar-ently  isolatiMl  detachuuMit  of 
seventy-five  men  was  too  gi'cat  to  the  Imlian  nature  to  be  resisted. 
It  was  determined  to  surround  the  eainp  that  night  and  attack 
it  at  da.x'light  the  next  morning.  About  200  wai-rioi-s  we)-e 
selected  for  tlu'  undertaking.  These  wei-e  mainly  from  the  bauds 
of  Red  Legs,  Gra.v  Bird,  Big  Kagle  and  .Maid^ato.  with  soiiie  fi'om 
Wabasha's  and  the  other  bands.  There  wei'e  also  some  Sissetons 
and  Wahpetons  present.  Little  <'i-o\v  himself,  with  ir)ll  warriors, 
was  off  on  the  expedition  to  tfie  liig  Woods,  towards  Foiist  City 
and   Hutchinson. 

When  darkness  had  come  good  ami  lilaid<  anci  shelteiing.  the 
Indians  crossed  the  I'iver  and  valli\-.  went  up  the  hliitVs  and 
praii-ie,  and  soon  saw  the  camp  oi-  corral  ol'  the  whites.  Cau- 
tiously and  warily  they  approached  the  camp  and  had  no  diffi- 
culty in  surrouiuling  it,  for  the  sentinels  were  at  such  slioit  dis- 
tance from  it — not  more  than  a  hundriMl  yards.  The  grouml  was 
most  excellent  for  a  mere  camping  ground,  hut  badly  chosen 
for  a  battlefield.  On  the  east  was  the  Bii'ch  Coole>-  with  a  high 
lilulf  bank  and   fi-inged   with   tiiiibei';  on   the   noi'tli   was  a  smaller 


166  HISTOKV  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

cooley  or  ravine  running  into  the  main  eooley;  on  the  south  was 
a  swale  much  lower  than  the  camp :  on  the  west  was  a  consider- 
able mound,  aud  all  these  positions  were  commanding  and  within 
gunshot  of  the  corral.  The  Indians  could  fire  from  concealed  and 
protected  situation,  and  nearly  all  of  them  had  double-barreled 
shotguns  loaded  with  buckshot  aud  large  bullets  called  traders' 
balls. 

The  Indians  under  Red  Legs  occupied  the  Birch  Cooley  east 
of  the  camp.  Some  of  Jlankato's  warriors  were  in  the  cooley  and 
some  in  the  swale  to  the  south.  Big  Eagle's  band  was  chiefly 
behind  and  about  the  knoll  to  the  west,  and  Gray  Bird's  was  in 
the  ravine  and  on  the  prairie  to  the  north.  Big  Eagle  says  that 
while  thej'  were  Avaiting  to  begin  the  attack  during  the  night 
some  of  the  warriors  crawled  through  the  i^rairie  grass  unob- 
served to  within  fifty  feet  of  the  sentinels,  and  it  was  seriouslj' 
proposed  to  shoot  them  witli  arrows — making  no  noise — and  to 
rush  the  camp  in  the  darkness. 

In  the  dark  hour  just  before  dawn  Captain  Anderson's  cook, 
who  was  early  astir,  liad  his  suspicions  of  danger  aroused  by 
noting  that  some  of  the  horses  with  lifted  heads  were  staring 
intently  toward  the  west  and  manifesting  indications  of  uneasi- 
ness. Some  fugitive  cattle,  wliieli  had  been  gathered  up  and 
driven  along  with  the  eonunand,  and  which  had  been  lying  down 
south  of  the  corral,  rose  up  one  after  another  and  began  to  move 
sloAvly  towards  the  corral,  as  if  retreating  from  danger.  The 
cook  had  quietly  awakened  his  captain  and  was  talking  to  him 
of  Avhat  he  had  seen  when  the  alarm  was  given. 

Sentinel  "William  L.  Hart,  of  Anderson's  company,  was  on 
duty  on  the  post  between  the  eastern  border  of  the  corral  and 
Birch  Cooley.  He  was  in  conversation  with  Richard  Gibbons,  a 
comrade  in  his  company.  The  dawn  was  coming  faintly  from  the 
east  when,  looking  in  that  direction,  across  the  Birch  Cooley, 
Hart  saw  what  he  at  first  thought  were  two  calves  galloping 
through  the  tall  grass  of  the  prairie  towards  the  eooley.  In 
another  moment  he  saw  that  the  objects  were  two  Indians  skulk- 
ing along  as  fast  as  they  could  run  and  trailing  their  guns  at 
their  sides.  "They  are  Indians!"'  cried  Hart  to  his  companion 
and  fired.  As  if  he  had  given  the  signal  instantly  there  was  a 
deadly  roar  from  hundreds  of  Indians'  guns  all  about  the  camp, 
and  the  battle  had  begun.  In  the  rain  of  bullets.  Gibbons  was 
mortally  wounded,  but  Hart  I'an  to  the  corral  unhurt,  and  fought 
through  the  battle,  living  to  become  an  officer  on  the  police  force 
of  St.  Paul,  where  he  died  in  1896. 

At  the  first  alarm  nearly  all  of  the  men  instinctively  sprang 
to  their  feet,  and,  in  obedience  to  orders,  Captain  Grant's  com- 
pany attempted  to  fall  into  line,  and  the  swift,  well  delivered  vol- 
levs  of  the  Indians  struck  down  thirty  men  in  three  minutes.    The 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  167 

horses,  too,  tied  at  the  borders  of  the  corral,  fell  fast.  Big  Eagle 
says:  "Owing  to  the  white's  men's  way  of  fighting  they  lost 
many  men;  owing  to  the  Indian's  way  of  fighting  they  lost  but 
few."  The  loss  of  the  whites  was  twenty  men  killed,  four  mor- 
tall.v  wounded,  perhaps  sixty  wounded  more  or  less  severely,  and 
nearly  every  horse  killed.  Of  the  horses  of  Major  Brown's  report 
says :  "Every  horse  belonging  to  the  command  was  killed  except- 
ing six.  which  were  left  at  the  camp,  being  wounded  and  unable 
to  travel."  But  Heard  sa\s  that  every  horse  was  killed  but  one. 
According  to  the  Indians  one  of  their  number,  named  Buffalo 
Ghost,  the  eldest  son  of  White  Lodge,  captvired  a  stampeded  horse 
during  the  fight.  Among  the  wounded  were  llajor  Brown,  Cap- 
tain Anderson,  Captain  Redfield  and  Indian  Agent  Galbraith. 
The  Indian  loss  was  small.  According  to  Big  Eagle,  endorsed  by 
Heard  and  sworn  to  by  reliable  Indians,  it  was  two  killed  and 
"several  wounded." 

About  nine  o'clock  in  the  morning  of  the  first  day's  attack  the 
pickets  at  Foil  Ridgely  sent  in  word  that  they  could  hear  firing 
in  the  distance  to  the  northwest.  Investigation  made  it  certain 
that  there  was  a  battle  in  progress  between  Major  Brown's  com- 
mand and  the  Indians.  Colonel  Sibley  at  once  sent  a  reinforce- 
ment. He  dispatched  Colonel  Samuel  McPhail,  of  the  newly 
organized  eomnumd  called  the  Mounted  Rangers,  with  fifty 
mounted  men  under  the  immediate  command  of  Captain  J.  R. 
Sterrett  and  Captain  C.  S.  Potter;  three  companies  of  the  Sixth 
Regiment  of  Infantry  (B,  D  and  E)  under  Captains  0.  C.  Merri- 
man,  J.  C.  Whitney  and  Rudolph  Schoenemann,  and  two  small 
cannon,  mountain  liowitzers,  under  Captain  Mark  Hendricks. 

The  infantry  and  artillery  were  under  the  direct  command 
of  ^lajor  R.  N.  McLaren,  with  Colonel  MePhail,  an  old  regular 
army  man  and  an  experienced  Indian  fighter,  in  eomnumd  of 
the  whole.  In  his  report  Colonel  Sibley  says  that  the  whole  force 
numbercnl  240  men. 

The  expedition  made  a  forced  march  to  near  the  Birch  Cooley, 
over  the  Foi't  Abercrondiie  road,  guided  by  the  somid  of  the  con- 
tinuous fii-ing.  On  neai-ing  the  cooley  a  large  force  of  Indians 
appeared  to  the  left,  or  south,  of  the  advance.  A  demonstration 
was  made  against  them  by  Captain  Meri'iman's  company  and  they 
fell  back.  The  command  moved  forward  half  a  mile,  when  a  very 
strong  line  of  Indians,  under  Chief  Mankato  and  other  noted 
Indian  wai-i'iois,  api)eared  in  front  and  on  the  left  flank.  Colonel 
McPhail  halted  and  prepared  to  fight.  Two  scouts  of  Captain 
Potter's  company  were  sent  forward,  but  soon  had  their  horses 
shot  under  theui  and  were  chased  back  to  the  column. 

The  Indians  were  advancing,  and  had  well  nigh  surrounded 
the  command,  when  Captain  Hendricks  opened  on  them  with  his 
mountain    howitzers    and    drove    them   back.      Colonel    ]\IcPhail, 


168  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COrXTY 

aeeording  to  his  own  report,  ' "  did  uot  deem  it  prudent  to  advance 
further."  Sending  two  messengers,  Lieutenant  T.  •].  Slieehau 
and  William  L.  Quiun  to  Colonel  Sibley  with  a  reijort  of  the 
situation,  he  moved  his  force  to  a  commanding  i^osition  about 
two  miles  east  of  the  cooley,  where  he  formed  a  strong  camp, 
throwing  up  some  ritle  pits  and  awaited  the  arrival  of  Sibley 
with  the  general  command  from  Fort  Ridgely. 

As  soon  as  McPhail's  messengers,  who  rode  swiftly,  reached 
him,  Colonel  Sibley  formed  his  men  luuler  arms  and  at  once 
marched  to  the  relief  of  the  now  two  imperiled  commands.  He 
marched  duriug  the  night,  joining  Colonel  MePhail  in  the  fore- 
noon of  September  3,  moved  against  the  Indians  and  by  noon, 
without  any  more  serious  fighting,  they  had  all  been  cb'iven  away 
from  their  positions  about  the  cooley.  Recrossiug  the  [Minnesota, 
they  speedily  fell  back  again  to  the  Yellow  ^Medicine.  Colonel 
Sibley  returned  to  Fort  Ridgely. 

During  the  fight  at  the  cooley  the  wounded  whites  were  given 
the  best  surgical  and  medical  aid  possible  by  Dr.  J.  ^V.  Daniels, 
assistant  surgeon  of  the  Sixth  IMinnesota  and  special  surgeon  of 
the  expedition.  He  had  a  hard  and  trying  task,  for  he  was  under 
fire  all  the  time,  but  he  did  his  duty  so  faithfully  and  efficiently 
as  to  merit  and  receive  the  gratitude  of  the  recipients  for  his 
faithful  care  and  the  praise  of  liis  superiors  and  of  all  ^vlio  knew 
of  his  services. 

At  the  close  of  the  contest  Colonel  Sibley  conveyed  the 
wounded  in  wagons  to  Fort  Ridgely ;  the  dead  were  temporarily 
buried  on  the  battlefield.  Subsequently  all  the  bodies  were 
removed  by  friends,  with  the  exception  of  one.  believed  to  be 
that  of  Peter  Boyer  (or  Pieri'e  Bourrier),  a  nnxed-blood  Sio\ix, 
serving  with  Anderson's  company,  but  belonging  to  the  Renville 
Rangers,  who  was  killed  at  the  first  fire  Avhile  on  sentry  duty  a 
hundred  yards  west  of  the  camp.  A  report  that  Boyer  was  killed 
while  attempting  to  escape  to  his  Indian  kinsuu^n  was  never 
proven  and  is  doubtless  untrue.  The  bodies  of  the  two  Indians 
killed  were  buried  during  the  fight  in  the  Birch  Cooley.  They 
both  belonged  to  Husha-sha"s  baud  of  Wahpakootas;  one  was 
named  Hotoinia,  or  Animal's  Voice,  and  the  other  Wan-e-he-ya,  or 
Arrow  Shooter. 


nisTOKY  nv  \{K\yuAA<:  corxTV  ino 

CIIAI'TKU   XIII. 
CAPTURED  BY  THE  INDIANS. 

Reminiscences  of  Minnie  Buce  Carrigan — Pioneers  Arrive — 
Dawn  at  Fatal  August  Morning — Parents  Killed — Sisters 
Murdered — In  the  Indian  Camp — Meeting  Playmates — Scenes 
of  Cruelty — Arrival  of  Soldiers — Release — Conclusion. 

Ill  1858  my  |)arciits,  (Jottt'rictl  iiml  Wilhc'liiiiiiii  Kiicc  with 
tlic'ir  three  chililrrii,  August,  Wiliicliiiin:i  (iiiyscir)  ;iiiil  Augusta, 
ciiiiif  from  Gt-riiiaiiy  to  Aiiicrica  ami  sc'ttlrcl  at  J^"(ix  iiakc,  W'is- 
(•oiisiii.     My  sister,  Amelia,  Avas  Ikhii   \\vvr. 

Tu  the  spring  of  1860,  in  comiiaiiy  witii  ti\e  ntln  r  families, 
two  of  whom  were  named  Lentz  and  Kitzmaii,  \\e  raiiic  to  Min- 
nesota. Tliough  only  five  years  old  at  tliat  tiiiic,  1  distinctly 
I'emember  many  incidents  of  this  journey.  We  all  had  o.\  teams 
and  some  other  live  stock  witli  us.  .\11  the  families  were  devout 
Christian  members  of  the  Evangelical  clun'cli  and.  I  rcincinlx'r 
VI'  never  traveled  on  the  Sabbath.  .\1  ('aniion  Falls  my  motliiT 
I'i'll  i'roiii  tile  vajion  ami  a  wheel  |iasseil  o\-er  liei'  foot  injuring 
it  so  severely  that  we  were  eompelled  to  stop.  Till'  other  fam- 
ilies remained  with  us.  'J'lie  men  rented  land  and.  possilily  with 
the  exee])tion  of  Mr.  Lent/.,  put  in  rrops  ol"  i-orii  and  oats.  It  was 
too  late  for  wheat.  My  sister  Caroline  was  horn  during  our 
stay  liei-e.  l'ei-lia]is  it  was  the  intention  of  tin'  families,  at  first, 
to  remain  at  Cannon  Falls  at  least  a  year.  Hut  in  six  weeks  my 
mother  having  recovered  from  hei'  injuries,  they  deeiiled  to  re- 
move  farther  westward. 

The  previous  year  a  ^Ir.  Alannw ciler.  a  sini-iiidaw  of  .Mr. 
Lentz,  had  settled  at  Middle  Creek  in  K'enville  eount\.  my  iatliei' 
and  .Mr.  Lentz  concluded  to  settle  near  him.  .Mr.  Kitzman  ile- 
cide(l  to  I'emaiii  at  Cannon  Falls.  I  do  not  know  how  long  we 
were  on  the  road  from  Cannon  l-'alls  to  Midille  Creek,  but  I  re- 
nu'inber  the  evening  when  we  rea(died  .\lr.  .Mannweiler  whei'e  we 
remained  two  days.  Then  my  fatbei'  took  his  laniily  to  a  .Mr. 
Snnth.  Soon  he  bought  the  I'iglit  to  a  claim  on  which  some  land 
liad  been  broken  and  other  improvemculs  had  liien  made.  Mr. 
Smitii  and  my  father  put  u|)  some  hay  for  the  cattle  and  father 
went  to  Yellow  Medicine  to  work  lor  a  month  and  put  up  hay 
for  the  government  cattle  at  the  Imlian  agency.  .Mother  staid 
with  Mi's.  Smith  during  this  time.  When  father  ri'turiied  he 
moved  his  famil\'  into  an  old  house  nu  his  claim.  .\11  the  neigh- 
boring settlers  tui-ned  out  to  help  us  fix  n|i  our  house  so  that 
we  coulil  live  in  it  comfoi'tably.  1  think  onis  was  oni'  of  nine 
families  that  lived  there  during  tin'  winter  of  1860  and  "61.  In 
the  spring  of  1861  twenty  families  came  in  one  jiai-ty  and  joined 


170  HISTORY  Of^  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

us.    Mr.  Kitzinan  eanie  up  froui  Canuoii  P'alls  and  was  the  first 
settler  at  Sacred  Heart  Creek. 

•  Our  life  on  the  frontier  was  peaeeful  and  tuieventful.  All, 
or  nearly  all,  of  the  families  of  our  settlement  were  Germans — 
honest,    industrious    and    God-fearing    people. 

Early  in  the  spring  of  1861  arrangements  were  made  to  have 
a  German  nunister  hold  monthly  religious  services  among  us. 
A  Rev.  Brill  was  our  first  minister.  We  had  no  public  scliool, 
which  my  father  often  regretted.  On  winter  evenings  our  jiar- 
ents  taught  us  to  read  German  and  we  younger  children  learned 
to  read  a  little  in  Sunday  school.  Religious  services  and  Sun- 
day school  were  held  at  the  houses  of  the  settlers.  The  Indians 
from  across  the  Minnesota  river  to  the  south  of  us  visited  us 
nearly  every  day  and  were  always  very  friendly.  We  younger 
children  could  not  speak  a  word  of  English,  but  most  of  us 
learned  a  little  of  the  Sioux  language  and  our  parents  learned 
to  speak  it  quite  well.  All  tlie  settlers  were  in  moderate,  but 
fairly  comfortable  circumstances  and  though  they  liad  to  under- 
go many  discomforts  and  some  privations,  all  seemed  happy  and 
contented. 

In  the  spring  of  1861  my  father  got  a  bad  scare,  but  it  turaed 
out  all  right  for  us,  but  not  so  lucky  for  the  Chipi)ewa  Indian 
that  came  near  the  Sioux  reservation,  ily  father  wanted  to  buy 
a  gun  of  the  Indians,  and  every  old  gun  they  could  not  use  they 
brought  to  him  to  try.  They  all  had  guns  to  sell.  The  first  gun 
that  was  brought  to  him  was  an  old  flint  lock.  Father  went  to 
examine  it.  He  was  in  the  house.  The  gun  accidentally  dis- 
charged, and  shot  a  hole  through  the  roof  of  our  house.  Father 
was  so  frightened  he  could  not  speak.  I  can  see  his  white  face 
yet  as  the  smoke  cleared.  A  few  days  later  another  Indian 
came  along  -with  a  gun.  Father  was  standing  under  a  tree  in 
front  of  our  house.  An  Indian  came  with  a  gun  and  wanted 
father  to  shoot  at  a  stick  that  he  stuck  in  the  ground.  Father 
picked  up  the  gun  and  blazed  away  at  it.  He  hit  the  mark  all 
right,  but  the  gun  kicked  him  so  hard  he  fell  flat  on  his  back. 
Mother  and  the  Indian  both  laughed.  This  made  father  so 
angry  he  picked  up  the  gun  and  was  going  to  strike  the  Indian 
with  it.  Mother  grabbed  his  arm,  and  told  him  it  would  cost 
him  his  life  if  he  struck  that  Indian.  Father  seemed  to  under- 
stand her  meaning  and  stood  the  gun  up  against  the  tree  and 
walked  into  the  house.  The  Indian  grinned  and  took  his  gun 
and  went  away,  and  mother  told  father  to  quit  his  trading  with 
the  Indians. 

After  that  if  an  Indian  came  with  a  gun  to  sell  father  would 
not  speak  to  him.  One  day  soon  after  father's  last  gun  trade 
a  strange  Indian  came  to  our  house  about  four  or  five  o'clock  in 
the  afternoon.     He  asked  my  mother  how  far  it  was  to  Sacred 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  171 

Heart  creek.  IMy  mother  held  up  three  liugers,  indicating  three 
uiik>s.  He  started  on  his  journey.  About  half  an  hour  after 
he  had  gone  one  of  our  cows  that  had  a  young  calf  four  weeks 
old  running  with  her  came  running  up  to  the  house  without  her 
calf  and  she  acted  as  though  she  was  crazy.  My  father  was 
not  at  home  and  mother  told  my  brother  to  go  and  follow  the 
cow,  for  she  had  gone  back  again,  and  see  what  had  happened 
to  her  calf.  My  brother  followed  the  cow.  Soon  after  he  had 
gone  my  father  came  home  and  mother  told  him  about  it.  He, 
too,  M-i'ut  to  look  for  the  calf.  Soon  they  both  returned  bear- 
ing the  dead  calf  home.  The  Intliau  had  cut  its  throat  and  cut 
oft'  one  hind  quarter  and  left  the  rest  on  the  ground.  Father 
threw  the  dead  calf  on  the  ground  and  wont  to  work  and  skinned 
it.  He  remarked  that  the  Indian  was  good  to  leave  us  some  of  it. 
The  next  morning  my  father  came  into  the  house  and  said  to 
mother,  "I  am  afraid  I  got  into  trouble  the  other  day  when  I 
tried  to  strike  that  Indian  with  the  gun.  There  are  fifty  Indians 
in  our  dooryard  on  horseback,  all  in  war  paint."  Father  sat 
down  by  the  table.  He  seemed  to  be  unable  to  move.  Mother 
went  out  to  see  what  they  wanted.  She  soon  returned  laughing 
and  told  father  they  were  not  after  him  at  all,  but  they  were 
looking  for  the  Chippewa  that  had  killed  our  calf,  and  they 
wanted  him  to  come  and  help  them  to  find  him.  They  had 
tracked  him  as  far  as  our  house.  Father  went  with  them  as 
far  as  to  where  the  calf  was  killed,  and  then  came  home.  He 
told  mother  that  he  would  sooner  lose  a  dozen  calves  than  to  see 
the  Sioux  kill  a  Chippewa.  In  the  middle  of  the  afternoon  they 
returned,  bringing  the  Chippewa  with  them.  They  had  over- 
taken him  and  got  him  alive.  That  suited  them  better,  for  they 
could  torture  him  to  death.  Tlit-y  wanted  father  to  come  over 
to  the  killing  and  the  feast,  but  he  refused. 

In  the  spring  of  1862  so  many  i)eople  came  into  the  country 
that  we  did  not  know  half  of  our  neighbors.  The  church  society 
was  divided  into  two  divisions,  called  the  Sacred  Heart  and  the 
Middle  Creek  divisions,  and  each  had  religious  services  twice  a 
month,  being  held  in  dwelling  houses  nearest  the  center  of  the 
district.  I  remember  the  spring  of  this  year  that  Mr.  Schwandt 
and  his  family  joined  our  colony.  I  saw  them  first  at  the  house 
of  Mr.  Lentz. 

It  was  about  this  time  that  the  conduct  of  our  Indian  neigh- 
bors changed  toward  us.  They  became  disagreeable  and  ill- 
natured.  They  seldom  visited  us  and  when  they  met  us,  passed 
by  coldly  and  sullenly  and  often  without  speaking.  On  one  oc- 
casion SOUK!  of  them  camped  in  my  father's  woods  and  began 
cutting  down  all  the  young  timber  and  leaving  it  on  the  ground. 
My  father  remonstrated  with  them.  He  told  them  they  could 
have  all  the  timber  and  tepee  poles  they  wanted  for  actual  use. 


172  111-T()KV   OF  UH.WILLK  COIXTV 

hut  to  It't  the  rest  stand.  When  lie  had  si)okeii.  a  squaw  eauglit 
uj)  a  large  hutdicr  knife  and  ehased  hiiu  away.  lie  eauie  to  the 
house  and  toM  my  niotlier  of  the  affair,  hut  she  only  laughed 
at  him  for  allowing  an  oKl  squaw  to  drive  him  out  of  his  own 
woods.  At  another  time  ahout  a  week  hefore  the  dreadful  out- 
break, my  I)rothei-  August  eauu'  home  from  'Sir.  Lentz"  in  great 
fright.  He  said  that  Mr.  Lentz  had  eaught  a  nice  sti'ing  of  tish 
in  the  ]\Iinne.sota  river  and  brought  them  home.  An  Indian  came 
into  the  house  and  deumndi'cl  soir)e  of  them,  '■(.io  and  eateh 
youi-  own  fish,"  said  31r.  Lentz.  The  Indian  tlew  into  a  rage, 
and,  among  other  things,  said  angrily,  '•You  talk  most  now  but 
wait  a  while  and  we  will  shoot  you  with  your  own  gun.'"  !Mr. 
Lentz  was  the  only  luan  who  owned  a  gun  in  tlie  neighliorhood 
and  the  Indians  knew  how  defenseless  W(>  were.  When  my 
brother  ha<l  I'elated  this  ineideiit.  father  seemed  strangely  af- 
fected. He  was  silent  for  a  -while  and  then  reuuu'ked  to  August, 
"Well,  boy.  we  have  all  to  die  soiin'  time,  and  there  is  but  one 
death,"  and  then  went  out. 

The  ])eaceful  Sunday  before  the  outbreak  of  the  following 
day,  services  were  held  at  Mr.  Letton"s  lionse,  a  mile  and  a  half 
fi'om  our  plaei'.  The  Sumlay  si-hool  -was  held  before  tlii-  ]ireaeli- 
ing.  Mr.  ]\Iannweiler  was  the  superintendent.  As  -was  his  cus- 
tom, he  gave  us  childi-eu  litth-  blue  cards  on  each  of  which  a 
verse  in  scripturi'  was  ]irintrd  and  then.  shoAviiig  us  some  nice 
red  cards,  told  us  that  if  we  etudd  I'ejieat  from  nu_'mory  the 
verse  on  our  card  the  coming  Sunday,  he  would  give  ns  each 
one  of  them.  We  were  all  greatly  i)leased  at  this.  He  closed 
the  school  just  as  tlm  people  were  asseud)ling  for  cliurch  and 
directed  the  children  to  reiuaiii  out  of  doors  during  the  services, 
for  thei'e  seemed  to  be  a  crowd  coming  and  the  house  was  not 
vei'.v  large.  I  reuuMuber  that  thei'e  wiis  so  large  an  attendance 
tliat  most  of  the  boys  and  uu-n  sat  outside  in  front  of  the  open 
door.  1  think  there  were  over  a  hun<lred  adults  and  about  thirty 
children  at  the  church  that  day.  Louis  Tliiele  and  ilike  Zitzlotf 
were  sitting  on  a  wagon  tongue,  while  Thiele's  little  child  was 
l)laying  in  front  of  them.  Poor  .Mike  little  thought  that  it  Mas 
his  last  day  on  earth,  lie  was  mai'ried  to  iMary  Juni  less  than  a 
year  l)ef(U'e.  They  \vei-e  both  murdei'ed  the  next  day.  'Slv.  7A\7.- 
loff  was  a  brother  to  .Mrs.  Inefeld,  who  was  taki  ii  prisouei-. 
Mr.  Thiele  saved  his  life  by  jumping  fi-om  his  wagon  ami  hiding 
in  the  woods.  Within  twenty-four  hours  after  that  meeting. 
not  more  than  thirty  of  those  jiresent  reiiuiiued  alive.  The  oth- 
ers, including  Kev.  '\\\\  Seder,  had  been  murdered  by  the  Indians. 

That  di'eadful  ^londa.v — August  18,  LSH'J — my  father  was  put- 
ting up  hay  a  mile  east  of  our  house.  1  i-emeudier  that  dinner 
was  a  little  late  and  father  comi)laincd.  He  was  in  a  hurry  to 
finish   Ids   haying   that   he   nugiit    go   to   work   again   at    Yellow 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  TOUNTY  173 

Medicine  to  put  up  hay  for  the  ^ovorument  cattle  -wliere  he  could 
get  good  wages.  Wlicii  lie  had  started  for  his  Avork,  my  hrother 
climbed  on  the  roof  to  see  wliore  our  cattle  were.  We  had  to 
keep  watch  of  them  as  they  ran  at  large  on  the  praii'ie.  Some- 
tiuu's  the  Indians  wo\dd  staiMi)ede  them  and  we  would  have  to 
liunt  for  days  to  find  tliem  again.  When  my  brother  came  down, 
he  tohl  mother  that  lie  heard  shooting  and  some  one  screamed 
at  Rosier  s  and  that  father  was  looking  toward  IMr.  Hosier's 
house  as  far  as  he  could  see  him.  .Mother  thought  maybe  the 
Indians  were  shooting  at  a  nuirk  and  wanted  August  to  go  to 
Mr.  Hosier's  and  borrow  some  sewing  needles.  We  did  all  our 
trading  at  New  Flm  and  often  had  to  borrow  such  articles. 
When  he  returned  he  said.  "O  mother,  they  are  all  asleep.  Mrs. 
and  till-  little  boy  were  lying  on  the  floor  and  the  boy's  ear  was 
bleeding.  The  big  boy  was  lying  in  the  clay  pit  and  was  all 
covered  with  clay." 

yiy  mother  was  standing  by  the  table  cutting  a  dress  for  my 
little  sister  when  my  brother  returned.  "O,  my  God,"  she  ex- 
claimed, "the  Indians  have  killed  them.  We  must  fly  for  our 
lives.  You  children  stay  here  and  T  will  go  and  call  father." 
But  my  brother  and  I,  refusing  to  I'emain  in  the  house,  were 
then  told  to  hid.'  in  the  cornfield  on  the  south  side  where  she 
and  father  would  meet  us.  She  then  ran  to  tell  father.  My 
brother  took  the  baby  Bertha,  aged  three  months,  and  I  took 
little  Caroline  while  Augusta,  aged  five  years  and  three  months, 
and  Amelia,  aged  four,  walked  along  Avith  us.  We  had  hardly 
reached  the  cornfield  when  the  Indians  came  whooping  and 
yelling  around  the  west  side  of  the  field  from  :\Ir.  Boelter's.  We 
sat  down  and  they  passed  us  so  closely  that  it  Avas  strange  they 
did  not  see  us.  They  rushed  into  our  house  and  Ave  Avent  on. 
Looking  back  Ave  saAV  them  throAviug  out  the  feather  beds  and 
other  articles.  We  reached  the  south  side  of  the  field  safely  and 
father  and  mother  Avere  already  there.  I  think  Ave  Avould  have 
been  safe  there  at  least  for  a  time,  but  father,  taking  the  baby 
from  August  started  out  on  the  oi)en  prairie.  Mother  took  Caro- 
line from  me  and  tried  to  stop  father,  but  it  Avas  useless.  The 
terrible  oircumstances  must  have  unbalanced  his  nund,  uatiu-ally 
being  \'ery  nervous. 

The  Indians  had  cleaned  out  our  house  and  Avere  returning  to 
Mr.  Boelter's.  As  they  were  passing  a  little  corner  of  the 
timber  one  of  them  saAV  father  and  uttered  a  Avicked,  piercing 
yell.  It  Avas  but  a  moment  Avhen  the  Avhole  band,  about  tAventy 
men  and  some  squaAvs,  were  upon  us.  My  father  began  talking 
to  the  foremost  Indian.  My  brother  has  told  me  that  father 
asked  them  to  take  all  his  property  but  to  let  him  and  his  family 
go.  But  the  Indian  replied  in  the  Sioux  language,  "Sioux 
cheehe"  (the  Sioux  are  bad.).     He  then  leveled  his  double  bar- 


174  HISTOKY  OF  KEX\ILLE  COUNTY 

reled  shot  guu  and  fired  both  barrels  at  him.  He  dropped  the 
baby — she  was  killed — and  running  a  few  yards  down  the  hill, 
.  fell  on  his  face  dead.  The  same  Indian  then  went  to  where  my 
mother  had  sat  down  beside  a  stone  with  little  Caroline  in  her 
lap.  reloaded  his  gun  and  deliberately  fired  upon  them  both.  She 
did  not  speak  or  utter  a  sound,  but  fell  over  dead.  Caroline 
gave  one  little  scream  and  a  gasp  or  two  and  all  was  over  with 
her.  The  cry  rang  in  my  ears  for  years  afterward.  My  fatlier 
was  thirty-three  and  my  mother  thirty  years  of  age  when  tliey 
were  so  cruelly  murdered  by  the  Indians. 

How  painfully  distinct  are  all  the  memories  of  the  scenes 
of  this  dreadful  afternoon.  While  my  motlier  was  being  mur- 
dered I  stood  about  ten  feet  away  from  her  paralyzed  with  fear 
and  horror,  unable  to  move.  The  Indian  began  loading  his  gun 
again  and  was  looking  significantly  at  me  and  my  sister  Amelia, 
who  sat  by  my  side.  Suddenly  I  regained  ray  self-control  and, 
believing  that  I  would  be  the  next  victim,  I  started  up  and  ran 
wildly  in  an  indefinite  direction.  Accidentally  I  came  to  where 
mj^  father  lay.  He  had  on  a  checked  shirt,  the  back  of  which 
was  covered  with  blood,  the  shot  having  passed  clear  through 
his  body.  That  was  the  last  thing  I  knew.  The  next  thing  I 
remember  was  an  Indian  holding  me  in  his  arms,  looking  into  my 
face.  I  screamed  and  he  put  me  down.  My  brother  then  told 
me  not  to  be  afi'aid  as  tliey  would  not  kill  us.  but  were  going 
to  take  us  with  them.  Amelia  was  also  there,  but  being  unable 
to  see  Augusta,  I  asked  for  her.  "I  have  not  thouglit  of  her," 
replied  August  (or  Charley  as  we  called  him  afterwards).  "The 
last  I  know  of  her  is  when  she  told  me  to  wait  for  her,  but  I 
couldn't."  We  three  then  rose  and  looked  about  for  her.  but 
could  not  see  her.  My  brother  asked  an  In<lian  about  her  but 
the  Indian  looked  at  him  coldly  and  replied,  "Nepo. '"  I  knew 
the  word  meant  "killed"  or  "dead,"  but  I  was  not  satisfied. 
I  wajited  to  see  her  and  told  tlie  Indian  so,  as  good  as  I  could. 
He  took  me  by  the  hand,  my  brother  and  sister  following,  to 
where  she  lay.  She  lay  on  her  face  and,  as  I  saw  no  blood  upon 
her.  I  thought  at  first  tliat  she  was  alive,  but  when  I  turned  over 
her  body,  and  looked  upon  her  little  face,  once  so  sweet  and 
rosy,  but  now  so  pallid  and  ghastly  in  the  blaze  of  the  hot  Au- 
gust sun,  I  knew  the  truth.  I  wanted  to  see  no  more,  but  was 
ready  to  go  with  the  Indians  as  they  were  already  waiting. 

We  nuist  now  go  back  a  little  to  where  my  father,  mother  and 
sisters  were  murdered  and  learn  how  my  brother  escaped  the 
fate  of  the  others.  The  second  Indian  fired  at  him,  but  as  he 
was  running,  he  missed  him,  the  ball  striking  tlie  ground  right 
ahead  of  him.  He  fired  again  and  missed  him  the  second  time. 
Then  the  Indian  threw  away  his  gun  and  ran  after  my  brother. 
When  he  came  up  to  him  he  kicked  him  in  the  side  and  knocked 


HISTORY  OF  KKXVIIJ,K  COrXTY  175 

him  down.  The  Indians  believe  tliat  the  Great  Spirit  protects 
those  at  whom  they  shoot  twice  and  miss.  They  do  not  shoot  at 
them  again,  but  give  them  a  chance  to  live. 

Some  time  after  our  capture  we  went  back  to  Mr.  Boelter's 
place.  As  we  turned  the  corner  of  the  woods  I  took  the  last  look 
at  our  home.  I  have  never  seen  it  since,  neither  do  I  care  to 
see  it  again,  although  it  is  not  many  miles  from  my  present 
home. 

When  wr  came  to  the  Boelter  house  we  found  tliat  liie 
ludians  had  already  murdered  the  most  of  the  family.  We  saw 
three  of  the  childreu  lying  among  some  logs  between  the  house 
and  the  well.  The  right  cheek  of  the  oldest  girl  was  shot 
away  clear  to  the  bone.  They  had  thrown  some  clothes  over 
the  body  of  the  second  girl.  My  brother  went  to  remove  them, 
but  the  Indians  called  him  back.  I  think  they  had  taken  the 
youngest  child  by  the  feet  and  beaten  her  over  a  log,  for  her 
dress  was  unfastened  and  her  back  was  bare  and  was  all  black 
and  blue.  The  birds  were  singing  in  the  trees  above  them  and 
the  sun  shone  just  as  bright  as  ever.  There  was  not  a  cloud  in 
the  sky.  I  have  wondered  how  there  could  be  so  much  suffer- 
ing on  earth  on  such  a  perfect  August  day.  After  we  saw  the 
childreu  the  Indians  took  us  to  the  house.  I  did  not  go  in  at 
first,  but  looked  at  Mrs.  Boelter's  little  flower  garden.  She  was 
the  only  woman  in  the  neighborhood  who  had  tame  flowers  and 
I  used  to  wish  that  I  could  have  some  of  them,  but  was  afraid 
to  ask  her.  Then  it  occurred  to  me  that  Mrs.  Boelter  was  dead 
now  and  I  could  pick  all  the  flowers  I  wanted.  I  gathered  a 
handful  and  the  next  moment  flung  them  back  into  the  little 
flower  bed.  I  did  not  want  them.  Mrs.  Boelter  was  dead ;  if  I 
(lid  not  see  her  body  I  was  sure  of  it,  and  was  taking  advantage 
of  a  dead  person.  How  gladly  she  would  have  given  me  some 
had  she  known  that  I  wanted  some.  I  started  to  go  into  the 
house  but  my  brother,  who  was  standing  at  the  door,  stopped 
IMC.  I  waited  a  few  minutes  until  he  went  away  and  then  looked 
ill.  Tliere  lay  Grandma  Boelter  on  the  floor  with  every  joint 
ill  her  liody  chopped  to  pieces.  All  that  winter  after  the  out- 
break 1  would  dream  about  her  and  cry  in  my  sleep  over  it. 
She  was  such  a  nice  old  lady  and  I  thought  so  much  of  her. 

Michael  Boelter  escaped  to  Fort  Ridgely,  taking  willi  liim  a 
baby  belonging  to  his  sister-in-law,  Jn.stina  Boelter,  whose  hus- 
band was  killed.  He  was  at  his  brother's  place  when  the  In- 
dians killed  his  own  family.  Mrs.  Justina  Boelter  hid  in  the 
Minnesota  bottoms  with  her  two  little  children  for  nearly  nine 
weeks,  until  found  by  some  of  General  Sibley's  soldiers  from 
Camp  Release,  but  during  her  wanderings  one  of  her  children 
died  of  starvation.  W^hen  found  .she  and  her  other  child  were 
iieai-lv  d(>ad.  ton. 


176  lllSTdKV   OK  KK.WILLK  (orXTV 

After  visiting  tlie  Bocltcr  place  iour  or  tive  of  the  squaws 
started  with  iis  and  the  plunder  which  they  had  obtained,  for 
the  Indian  village  south  of  the  Minnesota  river  two  miles  from 
our  liouse.  We  crossed  over  in  a  canoe  and  reached  the  reser- 
vation about  four  o'clock.  The  rest  of  the  Indians  started  for 
I\Ii'.  Lentz"  place. 

Mr.  Lentz  and  his  entire  family  were  saved  excepting  his 
son-in-law.  ^Ir.  I\Iannweiler.  Mrs.  Mannweiler  had  heard  in 
some  manner  that  the  Indians  were,  killing  everybody.  She  told 
them  they  must  leave  as  qniekly  as  possible.  Her  liusband  was 
already  loading  up  and  she  and  her  sister,  Augusta,  went  back 
to  ilannweiler's  to  ride  with  them.  Just  as  they  were  coming 
out  of  the  woods  the  Indians  shot  Mr.  Mannweiler  at  the  wagon. 
Augusta  Lentz  Avas  a  little  ahead  of  ]Mrs.  Mannweiler.  The  In- 
dians caught  lier  and  took  her  prisoner.  Mrs.  Mannweiler  ran 
back  to  her  folks  and  got  away  with  them.  They  went  through 
the  open  prairie  and  reached  Fort  liidgely  safely.  I  learned  these 
particulars  from  a  friend  of  the  Lentz  family. 

The  Indians  lived  in  bark  tents  where  we  stayed  the  first 
night.  They  offered  us  something  to  eat,  but  I  had  no  appetite. 
I\Iy  sister  was  playing  about  the  tent  when  I  called  her  to  me 
and  asked  her  where  she  was  when  the  Indians  killed  our 
mother.  "Why,"'  she  answered,  "I  was  sitting  a  little  way  from 
her  playing  with  my  flowers.  They  shot  and  shot.  Back  of  me 
all  was  smoky,  but  no  ball  hit  me."  I  thought  at  the  time  that 
it  was  too  bad  that  she  did  not  realize  what  had  happened.  But 
since  I  have  often  been  glad  that  she  knew  so  little  of  the 
terrible  deed.  The  Indians  let  us  stay  together.  We  slept  on 
bunks  made  beside  the  wall  on  one  side  of  the  tent  with  buffalo 
robes  spread  over  us. 

The  next  morning  when  I  awoke  my  brother  was  already  up. 
We  were  sleejjing  side  by  side  with  our  clothes  on.  The  Indians 
never  undress  when  they  go  to  bed.  He  was  crying  and  the  tears 
were  rolling  down  his  cheek.  I  could  not  think  where  we  were, 
but  all  at  once  the  horrible  scene  of  the  day  before  came  back 
to  me.  1  did  not  blame  him  for  crying.  I  cried,  too.  If  the 
earth  would  have  opened  then  and  swallowed  me  I  would  have 
been  thankful.  ]\Iy  sister  awoke  with  a  scream  antl  asked, 
"Where  are  we?  August,  take  me  back  home.  I  want  to  go  to 
mother."  This  woke  up  the  Indians  and  one  of  the  squaws  tried 
to  take  her  but  she  screamed  and  clung  to  me.  This  was  more 
than  we  could  stand  and  we  all  cried  out  loud.  An  old  Indian 
then  went  out  and  brought  in  an  axe  and  told  us  that  he  would 
split  our  heads  open  if  we  did  not  .stop  ci-ying.  We  tried  to 
stop  but  the  tears  would  come  in  spite  of  the  axe.  Just  them 
an  old  Indian  widow  and  her  daughter  (a  girl  about  seventeen 
years  old)  came  in.     I  knew  them,  as  they  used  to  come  to  our 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  177 

house.  I  jumped  off  tlie  concli  and  ran  to  the  young  girl  and  put 
my  arms  around  her  arm  and  hugged  her  tightly.  She  put  her 
other  arm  around  my  shouklers  and  took  me  out  of  doors.  She 
seemed  to  know  that  I  wanted  protection.  She  did  not  kiss  me, 
for  Indians  never  kiss,  but  I  wanted  to  kiss  her  so  badly.  The 
old  lady  picked  up  my  sister  and  put  her  on  her  back  as  she 
would  her  own  child  and  brought  her  out.  She  seemed  to  like 
the  Indian  mamma  as  she  called  her.  My  brother  followed  us, 
too.  It  seems  wrong  to  me  to  call  these  two  Indian  women 
squaws,  for  tliey  were  as  lady-like  as  any  white  woman  and  I 
shall  never  forget  them. 

By  this  time  breakfast  was  announced,  which  consisted  of 
beef  without  salt,  pancakes,  made  of  flour  and  water  with  sale- 
ratus  stirred  in  them,  coffee  and  boiled  corn.  As  they  did  not 
use  salt  in  anything,  I  called  for  it,  minisku  yah,  in  their  lan- 
guage, but  they  shook  their  heads,  and  replied,  "waneeehe"  (I 
could  not  have  it).  We  ate  but  little  breakfast,  for  their  way  of 
cooking  did  not  suit  us.  After  breakfast  an  Indian  girl  came 
in  with  Mrs.  Smith's  blue  silk  wedding  dress  on.  This  circum- 
stance made  me  so  angry  that  I  could  have  torn  it  off  from  her. 
Another  Indian  girl  came  in  with  Mrs.  Kochendurfer's  sunbon- 
net  on  and  gave  it  to  me,  but  I  did  not  want  it.  I  knew  that 
Mrs.  Kochendurfer  must  be  dead,  or  they  would  not  have  her 
clothes,  so  I  laid  the  bonnet  down.  The  next  girl  that  came 
along  picked  it  up  and  took  it  along  with  her.  All  at  once  Ave 
heard  a  commotion  outside  and  we  all  rushed  to  the  door  to  see 
what  was  the  matter.  The  Indians  were  bringing  all  the  cattle 
of  the  neighborhood.  The  cows  had  not  been  milked  the  night 
before  nor  that  morning  and  were  neai-ly  crazy.  The  Indians 
were  riding  behind  them  on  theii-  ponies,  flourishing  their  whips 
and  yelling  like  so  manj-  demons.  The  very  earth  seemed  to 
tremble  as  they  passed.  Afterwards  the  oxen  hitched 
to  wagons  were  driven  up  and  stopped  before  the  tents. 
"These,"  said  my  brother,  "are  our  oxen  hitched  to  Mr.  Rosier 's 
wagon."  They  were  too  lazy  to  iinload  our  load  of  hay  and  put 
the  box  on.  (Jue  black  ox,  "Billy,""  was  liarnessed  to  a  buggy 
and  "Billy"  seemed  to  feel  proud  of  the  distinction  given  him. 
He  was  owned  bj'  the  widow  and  her  daughter,  who  adopted  my 
sister  while  she  was  a  prisoner.  The  Indians  then  went  to  pack- 
ing up  their  goods  and  loading  them  on  the  wagons. 

We  children  were  watching  them  when,  all  of  a  sudden, 
somebody  stepped  up  behind  me  and  threw  a  blanket  over  my 
head  and  picked  me  up  and  ran  with  me  to  a  wagon,  put  me 
onto  it  and  lield  me  fast.  I  kicked  and  screamed  but  they  would 
not  let  me  go.  The  wagon  was  in  motion  for  about  an  hour  be- 
fore they  took  off  the  blanket  and  then  I  looked  in  all  directions 
but  could  see  nothing  of  mv  brother  or  sister  and  I  did  not  see 


178  HISTORY  OP  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

them  again  for  over  a  week.  My  brotliei-  said  he  was  served  in 
the  same  way.  All  that  day  we  traveled.  The  prisoners  had  to 
go  bareheaded  in  the  hot  August  sun.  At  noon  we  stopped 
about  an  liour.  A  squaw  told  me  to  sit  uuder  the  wagon  and  she 
threw  a  blanket  over  my  head  and  made  me  sit  there.  Just 
before  we  started  again  she  brought  me  some  meat  and  pota- 
toes to  eat.  I  never  saw  any  bread  from  the  time  I  left  home 
until  I  got  among  the  white  people  again.  The  squaw  told  me 
(evidently  to  keep  me  from  running  away)  that  they  would  shoot 
me  if  I  took  the  blanket  off  my  head.  We  traveled  southwest  all 
the  rest  of  the  day.  I  do  not  know  how  far  we  went  nor  when 
we  stopped,  as  I  think  I  was  asleep,  for  I  remember  nothing 
about  it. 

The  party  of  Indians  tliat  I  was  with  left  the  main  force  and 
about  ten  families.  We  stayed  at  this  place  just  a  week.  The 
family  I  lived  with  consisted  of  an  old  squaw  and  her  eighteen- 
year-old  son.  a  young  squaw  and  eight-year-old  son  and  an  old 
Indian.  I  think  they  were  both  his  wives.  He  was  the  very 
Indian  who  killed  both  my  parents.  My  brother  told  him  so 
and  he  did  not  deny  it.  They  had  most  of  our  clothing  in  their 
tent,  even  to  my  mother's  dress  and  father's  hymn  book.  One 
day  the  young  squaw  put  on  my  mother's  dress,  a  dark  green, 
woolen  one,  and  it  just  about  fitted  her.  I  looked  at  her  and 
then  laid  down  on  the  ground  and  burst  out  crying.  I  could  not 
bear  to  see  her.  She  seemed  to  know  what  I  was  crying  about 
and  took  it  off.  She  never  put  any  of  my  mother's  clothes  on 
again  while  I  was  with  her.  The  old  Indian,  his  young  wife, 
and  her  son,  treated  me  well,  but  the  old  squaw  and  her  son 
were  mean  to  me.  Wednesday  morning  the  old  squaw  woke  me 
at  daybreak,  gave  me  a  tin  pail  and  pointed  to  a  nmd  slough  not 
far  to  the  west  of  us.  She  wanted  me  to  get  some  water,  but  I 
felt  tired  and  sleepy  and  did  not  want  to  go.  Seeing  two  Indian 
girls  of  about  my  size  plaj'ing,  I  put  the  pail  down  beside  them 
and  pointed  to  the  slough,  but  they  shook  their  heads.  They  did 
not  want  to  go  either.  The  old  squaw  saw  that  her  water  was 
not  coming,  picked  up  a  stick  and  came  after  me.  I  started 
to  run,  but  just  then  the  young  squaw  came  out  and  took  in  the 
situation  at  a  glance.  She  got  a  big  cornstalk  and  gave  the  old 
squaw  a  terrible  beating.  Another  young  squaw  came  up  and 
tried  to  take  the  cornstalk  away  from  her,  but  she,  too,  got  a 
whipping.  I  really  felt  sorry  for  the  old  squaw,  but  it  also  con- 
vinced me  that  the  young  squaw  was  my  friend.  She  made  the 
old  squaw  get  the  water  herself. 

Wednesday,  after  breakfast,  I  thought  I  would  investigate 
my  surroundings  and  find  out  where  I  was.  Close  to  our  tent 
was  a  large  house  Avith  a  porch  on  the  west  side.  A  little  ways 
east  of  that  building,  on  a  hill,  was  a  white  house.    In  this  house 


HISTORY  OP'  RFAVILLE  COUXTY  179 

lived  an  Indian  family  with  ten  childivn.  It  was  the  largest 
Indian  family  I  ever  saw,  as  most  of  them  are  small.  The  oldest 
of  this  family  was  a  sixteen-year-old  girl.  Her  face,  hands  and 
feet  were  all  covered  with  sores.  I  was  afraid  of  her  and  when- 
ever I  saw  her  coming  I  would  rnn  away  and  hide.  The  young- 
est was  a  boy  of  about  three  years.  He  was  a  nice  little  fellow. 
He  used  to  wear  a  calico  shirt  and  a  string  of  beads  around  his 
neck.  "We  played  together  by  the  hour.  He  talked  Indian  and 
I  German,  but  we  got  along  nicely.  One  day  he  came  to  visit  me. 
He  had  forgotten  to  put  on  his  shirt  and  wore  only  his  string 
of  beads,  but  he  was  a  welcome  visitor  nevertheless. 

Not  far  south  of  this  building  on  the  hill  was  a  small  white 
house  surrounded  by  a  high  garden  fence.  At  this  place  was  a 
white  woman.  I  suppose  she  was  a  captive,  too.  Often  slie 
would  look  over  the  fence  at  me,  but  she  never  came  outside  the 
gate.  At  the  other  house  were  five  or  six  little  white  children, 
ranging  from  two  to  ten  years  of  age.  They  were  English.  The 
oldest  boy  spoke  to  me  and  said  the  Indians  wovdd  kill  me. 
I  did  not  answer  as  I  did  not  understand  him.  Then  he  spoke 
in  Indian,  "Sioux  nepo  nea."  I  understood  and  shook  my  head 
as  much  as  to  say  that  the.y  had  not  killed  me  yet.  About  noon 
that  day  they  disappeared,  and  I  never  saw  them  again  while  I 
was  a  i)i'isoner. 

The  houses  were  all  occupied  by  Indians  and  live  or  six  fam- 
ilies lived  in  tents.  On  a  small  hill  south  of  us  was  a  raised  plat- 
form five  or  six  feet  high,  on  which  were  two  coffins.  While 
we  lived  there  they  dug  a  hole  and  buried  both  bodies  in  one 
grave.  When  an  Indian  dies  his  body  is  placed  in  a  long  box  and 
a  shawl  is  tied  over  the  top  of  the  box.  Then  it  is  placed  on  a 
high  platform  until  the  body  is  completely  decomposed  or  for 
about  six  weeks,  when  it  is  finally  buried. 

Tliursday  moi-ning  a  little  white  girl  of  four  or  five  years 
was  brought  to  our  camp,  I  presume,  from  the  main  camp,  about 
three  miles  distant.  She  was  German  and  said  her  name  was 
Henrietta,  but  could  tell  nothing  else  about  hei-seif.  1  was  vei-y 
glad  to  have  her  company.  She  lived  with  tiie  family  in  the 
next  tent  to  ours.  Friday  and  Saturday  we  played  together  all 
day  and  soon  were  fast  friends. 

The  first  Sunday  after  my  captni'e  whs  llie  loneliest  i  have 
ever  spent.  Henrietta  did  not  come  to  see  me,  iind  I  sat  down 
thinking  of  the  previous  Sunday.  1  wondered  what  a  change 
the  week  luid  brought.  Wln-i-e  were  tlie  ])eo])le  now,  who  had 
been  at  i>\w  church  and  Sunday  s(dn»()l  last  Sunday?  Were  tiiey 
all  izi  heaven  with  the  wings  of  angels?  Would  Mr.  Mannweiler 
hold  Sunday  school  in  heaven  and  distribute  the  pretty  red 
cards?  Thus  my  childish  thoughts  ran.  Suddenly  I  thought  of 
my   father's   hymn   book.      1   found    it    iuid    in   turning  over  the 


ISO  HISTOKV  OF  KEXVILLE  COU.XTY 

leaves  1  came  ujioii  the  old  familiar  hyiim  beginning,  "How  tedi- 
ous and  gloomy  the  hours, "'  I  knew  it  by  heart  and  sang: 

"Wie  lange  und  sclnver  wird  die  zeit 

Weuii  Jesus  so  lange  nicht  hier ; 
Die  blumen.  die  voegel,  die  freud, 

Vei'lieren  ihr  schoenheit  zu  mir." 

I  sang  the  hymn  about  half  tlirough  and  then  my  feelings 
overcame  me  and  I  laid  down  the  book  and  had  the  longest  and 
bitterest  cry  since  my  parents  had  been  murdered. 

Besides  the  incidents  already  related,  I  remember  nothing 
of  interest  until  the  moving  of  the  camp.  I  think  it  was  on 
Tuesday  that  the  Indians  woke  me  up  earh^  They  had  break- 
fast in  a  liurrj',  after  which  the  tents  were  taken  down  and 
everything  loaded  on  the  wagons.  Then  began  the  moving. 
Of  all  the  wild  racing  I  ever  saw  this  was  the  wildest.  The 
Indians  from  the  main  camp  caught  up  with  us  just  as  we  were 
crossing  the  Redwood  river.  The  stream  was  badly  swollen  on 
account  of  the  big  rains  the  week  before.  The  Indians  all  got 
off  the  wagons  and  waded  through.  I  screamed  when  the  young 
squaw  grabbed  me  by  the  arm  and  pulled  me  off  the  load  and 
made  me  wade.  She  held  rae  by  the  arm  or  I  would  have  per- 
ished, as  the  water  was  nearly  up  to  my  .arms.  Just  after  we 
had  crossed  the  river  I  saw  one  of  our  former  neighbors,  Mrs. 
Inefeld,  with  her  baby.  She  was  the  first  white  prisoner  I 
recognized.  I  spoke  to  her  and  she  knew  me  at  once.  She 
smiled  and  asked  me  how  many  of  our  family  had  been  killed. 
I  answered  that  I  thought  all  were  dead  but  myself,  as  the  In- 
dians had  told  me  they  had  cut  the  throats  of  my  brother  and 
sister  because  they  cried.  The  next  day,  however,  to  my  de- 
light and  surprise,  I  saAV  them  both.  That  day  I  also  saw  Mary 
Schwaudt  and  Augusta  Lentz  standing  by  the  wagon,  and  met 
a  Mrs.  Urban  and  her  five  children. 

I  wish  I  could  describe  this  move  as  it  should  be  described 
and  do  justice  to  it.  Most  of  the  teams  were  oxen  hitched  to 
wagons,  a  few  horses  and  the  rest  Indian  ponies  with  poles  tied 
to  their  sides.  These  poles  were  tied  together  behind  and  then 
loaded  with  household  goods.  They  did  not  ti'avel  on  roads  as 
we  do,  but  rushed  across  the  prairie  broadcast.  U.  S.  flags, 
strii)ed  shawls  and  bed  .sheets  were  floating  in  the  breeze  side 
by  side.  The  handsomest  shawls  made  the  best  saddle  blankets. 
Clock  and  watch  wheels  the  best  head-dresses,  the  most  expensive 
jewels  bedecked  the  Indians'  breasts.  I  have  never  seen  a  P\)urth 
of  July  parade  or  a  ragamuffin  outfit  equal  this  move.  All  day 
I  was  studying  the  new  styles  and  for  a  while  forgot  all  my 
troubles.  I  was  completely  carried  away  by  the  wild  scene.  Even 
the  Indians,    witli   thcii'   guns   pointing  at    me,   did  not  frighten 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  181 

me.  I  would  sliut  my  eyes  and  think  it  would  uot  take  long  to 
die  that  way,  but  0,  those  horrid  butcher  knives!  I  could  not 
bear  the  sight  of  them  and  they  were  always  sharpening  them. 
"We  camped  in  one  large  camp  that  night  when  we  stopped. 
There  must  have  been  a  thousand  tents  and  it  looked  like  a  large 
city  on  the  prairie.  Henrietta  and  I  were  again  companions  for 
her  tent  was  next  to  mine  as  before.  We  started  out  to  find  some 
playmates  and  found  those  already  mentioned.  I  also  saw  my 
sister  did  not  recognize  me,  which  made  me  feel  bad  to  think 
she  had  forgotten  me  in  one  short  week.  The  Indians  had  put 
one  of  my  baby  sister's  dresses  on  her.  I  asked  her  whose  dress 
she  had  on  and  she  said  it  was  Bertha's.  My  brother  was  yok- 
ing a  pair  of  oxen  as  we  came  up  to  see  him.  He  was  delighted 
to  see  me,  as  the  Indians  had  told  him  they  had  killed  me  for 
trying  to  run  away.  He  told  me,  with  tears  in  his  eyes,  that  the- 
Indians  had  killed  our  cow,  "Molly,"  and  could  not  bear  to  see 
oui-  cattle  killed,  as  it  was  all  there  was  left  of  our  home.  Just 
then  an  Indian  girl,  with  whom  Henrietta  lived,  came  and  took 
us  home. 

We  stayed  at  this  place  about  three  days.  In  the  evening  the 
young  braves  would  dress  in  their  gala  attire  with  their  clock- 
wheel  head-dresses  on  and  would  mount  their  ponies  and  practice 
riding  and  shooting  on  horseback.  Sometimes  they  would  hang 
on  the  side  of  the  ponies  and  ride  at  full  gallop,  yelling  as  only 
an  Indian  knows  how.  Henrietta  and  I  would  sit  and  watch 
them  and  wonder  how  many  Indians  there  were  in  this  world. 
I  told  her  it  was  full  of  them,  as  they  had  killed  all  the  white 
people,  and  so  it  did  seem  to  me  just  then. 

The  evening  before  we  moved  an  old  Indian  walked  around 
from  tent  to  tent,  calling  out  something  I  could  not  understand. 
I  went  to  one  of  the  white  women  to  find  out  what  he  said  and 
she  said  that  we  were  to  move  early  the  next  morning  and  those 
of  the  prisoners  that  were  not  able  to  travel  were  to  be  shot. 
I  was  badly  frightened,  but  I  was  saved  after  all. 

The  next  time  we  moved  little  Henrietta  and  I  rode  in  the 
same  wagon.  As  we  were  riding  along  a  voice  in  the  train  be- 
hind us  called  out  in  German,  "Say,  you  have  Letton's  oxen 
hitched  to  Mannweiler's  wagon"  Looking  back  I  saw  a  hoy 
whom  I  knew,  Ludwig  Kitzman.  Then  Henrietta  called  out, 
"Why,  there  is  Ludwig."  Now  I  had  a  clew  to  Henrietta's 
identit}-.  I  called  back  to  him,  "Here  is  a  little  girl  you  know. 
I  don't  know  who  she  is  and  wish  you  would  tell  me."  Ludwig 
then  ran  forward  to  our  wagon,  and  when  he  came  up  to  us  he 
said,  in  great  astonishment,  "Why,  it  is  Henrietta  Krieger,  my 
dear  little  cousin."  After  a  few  minutes'  conversation  he  went 
back  to  his  wagon,  promising  to  come  again  at  noon.  Every 
little  while  Henrietta  would  ask  me  if  it  was  noon  vet.     Her 


182  HISTORA'  OF  KEXVILLE  COFXTY 

father  and  some  of  lier  brothers  and  sisters  had  been  killed  and 
her  mother  badly  wounded. 

Lndwig  came  at  noon  and  we  had  an  enjoyable  visit.  I  asked 
liim  if  we  would  always  have  to  stay  with  the  Indians  and  he 
told  me  not  to  wori'y  about  that  as  there  were  enough  white  men 
left  to  shoot  oti'  every  Indian's  head.  I  told  him  I  wanted  to 
run  away,  but  did  not  know  which  way  to  go.  "Don't  try  that," 
he  said,  ''or  you  will  be  killed.  You  are  too  little.  The  best 
thing  we  can  do  is  to  stay  with  them  until  the  whites  come  and 
take  us.*'  I  asked  him  where  they  would  take  us  and  he  replied 
that  he  was  going  to  his  aunt  in  Wisconsin.  When  I  told  him 
that  we  did  not  have  any  relatives  in  this  country  he  cheered  me 
ui>  the  best  he  could  and  assured  me  that  we  would  find  friends 
somewhere  who  would  care  for  us. 

Soon  after  this  I  was  taken  sick,  and  lost  all  account  of  the 
days.  It  must  be  borne  in  mind  that  at  this  time  I  was  only  seven 
years  old.  To  those  who  may  be  inclined  to  question  the  ac- 
curacy of  my  memory  of  the  incidents  that  I  have  related,  I  can 
only  say  that  many  of  my  old  fellow  prisoners  fully  corroborate 
my  statements.  The  nature  of  these  incidents  impressed  them 
on  my  youthful  mind  so  deeply  that  I  can  never  forget  them.  It 
is  very  common  that  incidents  occurring  in  our  childhood  are 
better  remembered  than  others  happening  in  our  maturity. 

While  I  was  sick  the  master  of  our  tent  was  absent  for  four 
or  five  days.  His  big  l)oy  took  jiarticular  pains  to  torment  and 
abuse  me.  One  evening  he  was  sitting  in  the  tent  and  throwing 
corn  cobs  at  me,  while  his  old  mother  was  keeping  up  the  fire 
and  laughing  at  me.  The  .young  squaw  was  outside.  I  stood 
it  as  long  as  I  could  and  then  I  screamed  as  hard  as  I  could. 
All  at  once  the  young  squaw  stepped  in  and  caught  him  in  the 
act.  She  seized  a  large  ox  whip  and  gave  him  a  mo.st  unmerci- 
ful thrashing  and  he  cried  like  a  baby.  Then  she  gathered  \ip 
all  the  corn  cobs  and  brought  them  to  me.  She  put  one  in  my 
hand  and  then  motioned  for  me  to  throw  it  at  him.  I  did  so 
with  all  the  strength  I  had.  Every  time  I  threw  a  cob  the  young 
squaw  would  laugh  and  the  boy  cried.  That  was  the  time  I  got 
satisfaction,  even  if  I  was  in  an  Indian  camp. 

One  morning  the  big  boy  brought  my  breakfast,  but  as  I  was 
about  to  eat  it  he  jerked  it  away  and  said  I  needed  no  break- 
fast, for  in  a  little  while  a  man  was  coming  to  shoot  me.  The 
young  squaw  was  out  of  doors  and  the  rascal  could  act  as  meanly 
toward  me  as  he  pleased.  I  did  not  believe  a  word  he  said,  but 
after  breakfast  an  Indian  did  come  in  with  a  new  gun.  I  was 
so  frightened  that  I  did  not  recognize  him.  Shutting  my  eyes  I 
lay  down,  hardly  alive.  He  came  to  me  and  said,  "How  do  you 
do?"  half  a  dozen  times  before  I  dared  open  my  eyes.  Then  I 
saw  it  was  the  man  of  the  tent,  and  I  presume  he  knew  nothing 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  183 

of  what  tlie  boy  had  told  ine.    Tlic  new  gun  probably  belonged 
to  some  dead  soldier. 

Another  time  when  the  young  squaw  went  visiting  I  got  lone- 
some and  decided  to  find  brother  and  see  him  a  while.  I  found 
him,  together  with  August  Gluth  and  Ludwig  Kitzman,  in  a 
patch  of  hazel  brush  picking  nuts.  They  gave  me  some,  and 
while  we  were  talking  together  the  big  boy  approached  us. 
"There  comes  that  big  Indian  boy  after  you,"  said  my  brotlier. 
"See,  he  is  picking  up  a  stick  to  take  you  home.  Don"t  you 
worry;  we  will  take  him  home."  Each  of  the  boys  picked  up 
a  stick  and  started  for  the  boy.  They  said  to  him,  "Pockajee" 
(leave).  He  scolded  a  while,  but  turned  about  and  started  for 
his  tepee.  The  boys  took  me  home  and  when  we  got  there  the 
old  squaw  scolded  a  while  at  the  boys,  and  they  laughed  at  her 
and  called  her  "old  crooked  mouth"  in  German.  When  they 
left  they  told  me  if  she  or  the  boy  whipped  me  to  let  them  know 
and  they  would  whip  them  l)oth.  After  the  boys  had  gone  the 
big  Indian  boy  kicked  me  in  the  face  and  made  my  nose  bleed. 
The  young  boy  was  at  home,  and  I  think  he  told  his  mother,  for 
after  that  she  would  take  me  along  when  she  went  visiting. 

The  next  morning  after  this  incident  I  heard  a  great  com- 
motion again.  On  investigation  I  saw  a  most  disgusting  spec- 
tacle. Side  by  side,  with  their  throats  cvit  and  their  feet  in  the 
air,  lay  a  number  of  dogs.  I  returned  to  the  tent  sickened  by 
the  sight,  but  in  a  little  while  my  curiosity  got  the  better  of 
my  sensations  and  I  went  out  again.  By  this  time  the  Indians 
were  singeing  the  hair  ott'  the  dogs  with  burning  hay.  I  recog- 
nized our  little  white  poodle  among  the  carcasses.  The  Indians 
had  eight  or  ten  kettles  on  the  fire,  and  as  soon  as  a  dog  was 
singed  it  was  thrown  into  the  boiling  water.  Perhaps  they  were 
only  scalding  them  preparatory  to  cooking.  I  concluded  they 
were  cooking  without  preparation  and  resolved  not  to  eat  any  of 
the  meat  if  I  had  to  starve.  The  men  were  about  the  kettle  for 
several  hours,  the  squaws  not  daring  to  come  near.  At  last  the 
women  and  children  were  driven  out  of  the  tent  and  only  the 
men  partook  of  the  dog  feast.  Even  the  boys,  to  their  great 
dissatisfaction,  were  not  allowed  to  participate.  We  had  to  stay 
out  till  after  midnight.  For  three  nights  they  kept  up  their 
dog  feast  in  adjoining  tents.  I  have  heard  since  that  they  were 
religious  feasts  and  indulged  in  only  by  warriors,  who  on  this 
occasion  were  preparing  for  battle. 

After  the  feasts  were  over  all  the  warriors  left  camp  on 
another  murdering  expedition.  There  were  only  old  men,  women 
and  children  left  to  guard  the  prisoners. 

One  morning  soon  after  the  Indians  had  gone  I  saw  a  man 
dressed  in  white  man's  clothes.  He  was  about  of  the  same  height 
of   mv   father   and   walked   like   him.     For   a    moment   I   forgot 


184  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

everything  and  ran  to  meet  him.  Wlien  I  came  up  to  him  I  saw 
that  it  was  not  my  father  and  threw  myself  on  the  ground  and 
cried  as  if  my  lieart  would  burst.  He  sat  down  beside  me  and 
tried  to  lift  me  up,  but  I  refused  to  be  comforted.  After  regain- 
ing my  speech  I  told  him,  "Indian  'nepo'  papa  and  mamma  and 
I  want  to  go  'tahah  mea  tepee'  (far  away  to  my  home)."  He 
sympathized  with  me,  for  there  were  tears  in  his  eyes  as  he  spoke 
to  me.  He  asked  me  where  my  tepee  was  and  I  pointed  it  out 
to  him.     He  took  me  by  the  hand  and  led  me  there. 

Tliat  afternoon  two  young  girls  came  to  our  tent  and  took 
me  with  them.  They  must  have  been  half-breeds,  as  their  com- 
plexions were  much  lighter  than  the  other  Indians  and  they 
lived  much  better.  I  think  that  George  Spencer,  the  man  whom 
I  had  seen  tliat  morning,  sent  them  to  get  me.  This  family  con- 
sisted of  an  old  squaw,  a  young  man  and  two  young  girls.  They 
all  treated  me  very  kindly,  in  fact,  made  a  pet  of  me.  The 
young  man  would  paint  my  face  in  their  fashion  and  allow  me 
to  look  at  myself  in  his  hand  glass,  but  as  soon  as  I  could  get 
out  of  doors  I  would  rub  off  the  paint.  Their  conduct  toward 
me  was  so  considerate  that  I  really  liked  them. 

Once  wliile  witli  them  there  was  a  dance  in  camp.  The  young 
man  painted  my  face  in  the  highest  style  of  Indian  art  and  took 
me  and  his  sisters  to  see  the  performance.  He  put  me  on  his 
shoulder  and  carried  me  the  greater  part  of  the  way.  At  the 
dance  ground  a  lot  of  poles  were  planted.  Some  M"itli  red  shawls 
tied  to  them,  some  with  white  bed  sheets,  and  some  with  Amer- 
ican flags  attached  to  them.  There  were  no  scalps  in  sight.  The 
dancers  stood  in  groups  and  jumped  up  and  down  Avhile  others 
galloped  wildly  about  on  horseback.  I  was  afraid  they  would 
run  over  one  another,  but  they  managed  their  horses  very  skill- 
fully, ily  young  Indian  friend  held  me  up  on  his  shoulder  so 
that  I  could  have  a  fair  view  of  the  whole  performance. 

After  a  week  sjient  with  this  kind  family  I  went  to  live  with 
another,  consisting  of  an  old  scpiaw  (a  widow),  a  young  man  and 
a  little  girl  of  my  size.  The  young  man  was  a  half-breed  whom 
I  had  known  before  the  outbreak.  His  family  had  camped  in 
our  woods  in  the  spring  of  1862.  He  came  to  our  house  one 
evening  and  father  asked  him  in  for  supper.  While  they  were 
eating  he  asked  father  if  he  could  borrow  our  oxen.  After  con- 
sulting mother  about  it  father  decided  to  go  along  himself  with 
the  oxen  as  soon  as  traveling  would  be  possible.  The  Indian 
was  satisfied  and  they  stayed  in  our  woods  for  two  weeks  more, 
when  father  moved  them  and  their  household  goods  about  twenty 
miles  east. 

The  boy  always  seemed  to  think  so  much  of  my  father,  and 
I  have  often  wondered  why  he  did  not  save  his  life,  but  per- 
haps he  could  not.    While  I  lived  with  them  I  was  half  starved 


HISTORY  OP  RENVILLE  COUNTY  185 

all  the  time  aud  was  always  sickly.  Once  when  I  was  very 
iiuii^ry  I  saw  au  Indian  girl  put  sonic  potatoes  in  hot  ashes  to 
roast  and  then  go  off  to  play.  I  could  not  resist  the  chance  of 
procuring  a  square  meal  even  if  })y  questionable  means,  so  I 
watched  and  waited  until  I  thought  the  potatoes  were  cooked 
and  saw  that  the  girl  was  at  play  on  the  other  side  of  the  tepee, 
and  then  I  took  the  potatoes  back  of  another  tent  and  ate  them 
with  great  relish. 

After  I  had  eaten  the  iiotatoes  the  Indian  girl  that  had  put 
the  potatoes  to  roast  went  to  look  for  them  and  found  them 
gone.  .She  accused  another  Indian  girl  of  taking  them  and  gave 
her  a  good  Avhipping.  Ilere  is  a  case  where  the  innocent  suf- 
fered for  the  guilty. 

The  actions  of  the  Indians  were  quite  peculiar.  Often  on 
evenings  they  would  gather  in  groups  out  of  doors  and  relate 
tales  of  adventure  and  other  stories.  They  would  keep  this  up 
so  late  that  one  after  another  they  would  fall  asleep  and  lie  out 
of  doors  all  night  like  cattle. 

I  remember  well  the  day  of  the  battle  of  Wood  Lake.  It 
was  near  breakfast  time  when  we  heard  the  report  of  the  first 
cannon.  An  old  squaw,  who  was  making  a  fire,  jumped  into 
the  air  so  suddenly  and  violently  that  it  seemed  she  had  burned 
her  foot  and  screamed  something  that  sounded  to  me  like  "Hi 
be-dish  kak,"  and  she  repeated  these  words  again  and  again. 
The  same  cry  Avas  heard  throughout  the  camp.  I  noticed  that 
there  were  no  warriors  in  cainii,  but  did  not  realize  that  they 
had  gone  out  to  battle. 

We  got  little  to  eat  that  day  of  the  battle.  Everything  was 
in  the  greatest  confusion.  They  kept  up  bonfires  all  that  night 
and  an  incessant  howling  and  screaming.  The  next  morning  I 
changed  masters  again.  The  old  squaw  -who  kept  my  sister 
after  we  left  the  first  camp  was  my  new  guardian.  There  were 
no  men  at  this  tent.  There  was  one  Indian  family  that  often 
camped  in  our  wood.  The  squaw  used  to  eome  to  our  house  a 
great  deal,  and  mother  would  show  her  how  to  bake  bread  and 
do  a  good  many  other  things.  Father  used  to  call  her  nu)ther"s 
sister,  because  she  was  such  a  great  friend  of  ours.  While  a 
prisoner  I  met  her  quite  often  and  spoke  to  her,  but  she  never 
answered  me  and  acted  as  if  she  had  never  seen  me. 

About  this  time  we  moved  quite  frequently,  but  I  cannot 
remember  the  particulars.  One  day  not  long  after  the  battle  a 
young  squaw  came  to  our  tent  in  a  great  hurry,  aud  after  a  short 
consultation  they  began  to  pack  up  my  sister's  effects.  All  the 
clothes  I  had  were  on  my  person.  Soon  they  started  Avith  us  to 
a  hill  or  elevated  place,  where  we  saw  a  large  number  of  Indians 
standing  in  a  circle  in  the  center  of  which  a  white  tiag  waved 
from  a  pole.     There  were  a  lot  of  prisoners  entering  the  circle 


186  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUXTY 

tln-ough  au  opening  in  the  line,  and  as  none  came  out  1  con- 
eluded  that  they  were  going  to  kill  all  the  whites,  so  I  did  not 
want  to  go.     Two  Indian  girls  took  me  and  carried  me  in. 

Here  I  met  my  brother,  August  Gluth  and  Ludwig  Kitzman. 
They  greeted  me  most  joyfully.  ''We  are  going  to  be  free  now," 
said  my  brother.  '"Tlie  soldiers  have  licked  the  Indians  and  now 
they  have  to  give  us  up."'  I  missed  little  Gustave  Kitzman 
among  the  prisoners  and  asked  for  him.  Mrs.  Inefeld  then  told 
the  story  of  his  death.  She  and  Gustave  were  staying  with  the 
same  family.  He  used  to  run  away  to  see  his  brother  Ludwig. 
The  Indians  did  not  like  this.  Besides  this  he  had  a  bad  habit  of 
pinching  Indian  children  and  pulling  their  hair.  The  day  they 
killed  him  he  was  crying  and  wanted  to  see  his  brother.  The 
Indians  would  not  let  him  go.  however.  They  then  began 
sharpening  their  butcher  knives  and  told  her  to  go  and  get  a  pail 
of  water.  She  took  her  hahy  with  her.  The  baby  often  cried 
and  they  had  threatened  to  kill  it.  When  she  came  back  little 
Gustave  was  lying  on  the  ground  all  cut  to  pieces.  They  then 
picked  uj)  the  pieces  and  tied  them  up  in  a  tablecloth  while 
another  Indian  was  digging  the  hole  to  bury  him  in.  In  half 
an  liour  all  was  done  and  little  Gustave  was  no  more. 

Ludwig  Kitzman,  August  Gluth  and  my  brother  were  always 
together  when  it  was  possible.  They  had  to  catch  and  yoke  oxen 
for  hours  at  a  time.  Most  of  the  oxen  had  rope  tied  around  their 
horns  by  the  Indians  so  they  could  nmnage  them.  One  night  a 
big  I'ain  fell.  The  ropes  tightened  around  the  oxen's  horns  and 
they  were  nearly  crazj-  with  pain.  Ludwig  told  the  Indians  what 
ailed  them,  and  they  gave  the  boys  butcher  knives  and  they  cut 
all  the  ropes.  After  that  the  boys  were  always  kept  busy  driv- 
ing and  attending  the  oxen. 

The  boys  told  me  what  the  white  flag  meant,  and  I  was  over- 
joyed to  think  that  we  would  soon  be  free.  In  a  little  while  we 
were  marched  to  the  other  side  of  the  camp,  and  they  gave  us 
tents  which  we  were  told  to  occupy  until  General  Sibley  and  his 
soldiers  arrived.  Here  I  met  quite  a  number  of  German  prison- 
ers, among  whom  were  little  Jlinnie  Smith,  ilary  Sehwant, 
Augusta  Lentz,  ilrs.  Inefeld  and  her  baby,  ili's.  Lammers  and 
her  two  children,  ilrs.  Lang  and  two  children,  Mrs.  Frass  and 
three  childi-en,  ilrs.  I'rban  and  five  children.  The  last  three 
ladies  that  I  have  mentioned  were  sisters.  Mrs.  Eisenreieh  and 
her  five  children.  I  asked  Mrs.  Eisenreieh  what  made  Peter  and 
Sophy's  heads  sore,  and  she  told  me  that  the  Indians  hit  them 
on  the  back  of  their  heads  with  a  tomahawk  because  they  could 
not  walk  any  faster  when  they  came  into  camp.  The  back  of 
their  heads  was  one  big  scab.  It  made  me  sick  to  look  at  them. 
]\lrs.  Krus  and  litr  two  children.  Pauline  Krus  (Mr.  Krus'  sister), 
were  missing,  and  anothci'  girl  by  the  nanic  of  Henrietta  Xiehnls 


HISTOKY  OF  EENVILLE  COUNTY  187 

(a  cousiu  of  Augusta  Lentz)  could  not  be  found.  Tlu'se  two 
girls  were  about  twelve  years  old.  Mrs.  Krus  said  that  they  were 
hid  among  the  Indians,  and  that  the  soldiers  should  find  them 
or  she  would  never  go  until  they  were  found.  When  the  soldiers 
came  she  told  them  about  it.  They  told  her  that  they  would  find 
them,  and  so  they  did,  two  weeks  later,  in  another  Indian  camp. 
I  reineinber  how  the  soldiers  cheered  them  when  they  calue. 
"When  we  reached  St.  Peter  Henrietta  Nichols  found  her  father. 
How  pleased  she  was  to  see  him.  Her  mother  and  brother  liad 
been  killed.  Here  I  met  Minnie  Smith.  She  was  from  our  neigh- 
borhood and  it  was  with  them  we  stayed  the  first  month  we 
were  in  Minnesota.  Minnie  and  I  had  always  been  great 
friends. 

I  went  to  where  she  sat  and  asked  her  if  the  Indians  had 
killed  all  her  people.  She  nodded  her  head,  but  did  not  speak. 
Her  bright  blue  eyes  filled  with  tears  in  a  moment.  I  tried  to 
cheer  her  and  offered  her  one  of  my  sweet  crackers  that  Mrs. 
Urban  had  given  me,  for  I  thought  I  had  offended  her.  She 
shook  her  head  and  would  not  take  it.  The  tears  started  to  my 
eyes,  for  I  did  not  know  what  to  do  and  I  did  not  want  Minnie 
to  be  angry  with  me.  Then  Mrs.  Krus  came  and  told  me  that 
Minnie  could  not  speak,  as  there  was  something  wrong  with  her 
throat.  I  stayed  with  her  until  noon,  when  Mrs.  Krus  came  and 
told  me  to  go  and  play,  saying  as  I  went,  "Minnie  Smith  will 
soon  be  an  angel."  I  did  not  quite  understand  her  statement 
and  said,  "Why  Minnie  is  so  good  that  she  is  an  angel  now." 
Mrs.  Krus  replied,  "Yes,  she  will  soon  die  and  go  to  heaven." 
Minnie  rallied  a  little  and  lived  three  weeks  longer  until  we 
reached  Fort  Ridgely,  where  she  was  turned  over  to  that  kind 
nurse,  Mrs.  Elizabeth  Muller,  Dr.  Muller's  wife,  who  stayed  at 
the  fort.  She  took  care  of  the  sick  and  wounded  and  closed 
many  dying  eyes.  She  also  closed  ]\linnii'  Smith's,  for  two  days 
later  she  died. 

We  waited  tlii-ec  days  for  the  arrival  of  the  soldiers.  In  the 
forenoon  of  the  third  day  Pauline  Urban,  my  little  sister  Amelia 
and  I  were  playing  in  a  wagon  when  Pauline  all  at  once  jumped 
on  to  the  wagon  seat,  clapped  her  hands  and  pointing  toward  the 
south  exclaimed,  "Look  at  the  stars!  Look  at  the  stars!"  We 
all  looked  in  that  direction  and  we  could  plainly  see  the  sun 
shining  on  the  soldiers'  bayonets  as  they  marched  along.  Stars 
of  Hope  they  seemed  for  all  of  us.  We  all  got  on  the  wagon 
seats  or  as  high  as  we  could  get  to  see  the  soldiers.  At  last  the 
officers  rode  into  camp  and  there  was  a  great  deal  of  hand  shak- 
ing between  them  and  the  chiefs.  I  thought  they  knew  but  little 
of  how  we  had  been  treated. 

Tlie  pi-isoners  were  now  turned  over  to  the  soldiers  and  we 
were  marched  to  their  camp.     Just  as  we  reached  the  soldiers' 


188  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

camp  the  sun  went  down.  The  soldiers  cheered  us  wlieu  we 
reached  camp,  but  it  frightened  me.  I  thought  the  Indians  were 
trying  to  drive  them  back. 

;My  sister  and  I  were  sent  to  the  same  tents  with  several 
others.  We  were  nearly  starved,  as  we  had  eaten  almost  nothing 
all  that  day.  There  were  between  ninety  and  a  hundred  prisoners, 
and  it  was  no  easy  task  to  furnish  them  all  with  supper.  My 
sister  and  I  were  so  small  that  the  soldiers  overlooked  us,  but 
we  were  fortunate  enough,  however,  to  be  able  to  share  supper 
with  some  of  our  fellow  prisoners.  We  stayed  with  the  soldiers 
three  weeks,  and  as  rations  were  getting  scarce  and  what  there 
was  was  almost  unfit  to  eat,  we  children  were  always  looking 
for  something  to  eat.  In  the  northern  part  of  the  soldiers'  camp 
there  was  a  German  baker  who  used  to  bake  very  nice  bread. 
One  daj^  we  found  the  place  and  made  him  a  visit.  He  treated 
us  to  a  dish  of  beef  soup  and  some  bread.  The  next  day  we 
repeated  our  visit  and  he  did  not  treat  us  again.  Shortly  after 
this  we  made  the  acquaintance  of  a  boy  named  Ben  Juni.  He 
was  more  of  a  ladies'  man,  and  whenever  Ben  got  anything  good 
to  eat  he  would  divide  with  us.  Pauline  always  said  he  was  the 
best  boy  in  the  lot.  But  I  could  not  go  back  on  my  brother  and 
Ludwig  Kitzman.  I  have  never  seen  any  of  my  little  friends 
of  years  ago,  and  I  have  often  wished  that  time  could  turn  back 
in  its  flight  and  Ave  could  meet  again.  How  nnich  I  would  give 
to  see  the  bright  and  happy  face  of  Pauline  Urban.  Henrietta 
Krieger  was  entirely  forgotten  after  I  made  Pauline's  acquaint- 
ance. Her  mother  was  Avitli  her.  She  had  foiu'  sisters  and 
brothers.  She  told  me  she  Avas  going  to  meet  her  father  soon, 
for  he  Avas  aAvay  some  place  Avhere  he  Avas  safe.  She  Avas  about 
the  age  of  my  sister  Avbom  the  Indians  had  killed.  Hoav  I  envied 
her.  Her  father,  mother,  sisters  and  brothers  Avere  alive  and 
Avell,  Avhile  mine  Avere  dead.  She  could  ahvays  cheer  me  no  mat- 
ter hoAv  badly  I  felt.  Her  mother  treated  me  and  my  sister  as 
kindly  as  she  did  her  OAvn  children. 

While  Ave  stayed  at  Camp  Release  I  heard  some  of  the  saddest 
stories  I  ever  heard.  These  stories  Avere  told  in  English  and  Avere 
translated  to  me  by  Mary  Schwandt. 

Mrs.  Adams  told  the  following  .story:  They  Avere  moA-ing  to 
Hutchinson  Avhen  the  Indians  overtook  them.  The  Indians  shot 
at  them  and  they  jumped  off  the  wagon.  Her  husband  was 
Avounded  and  got  aAvay,  but  she  supposed  he  Avas  killed.  Then 
they  took  her  baby  from  her  arms  and  dashed  its  brains  out  on 
the  Avagon  Avheel.  She  Avas  taken  prisoner.  She  laughed  while 
telling  her  story  and  said  she  could  not  cry  for  her  child. 

Mrs.  Minnie  Inefeld  told  hoAV  she  Avent  to  her  brother's 
house  to  tell  them  that  the  Indians  were  killing  everybody.  She 
left  her  husband  loading  up  their  household  goods.     When  she 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  1.^:1 

iTturiHMl  shr  louiid  liei-  lmsl);iml  lying  on  tlie  floor  with  a  butcluT 
knife  in  his  heart. 

One  (lay  while  we  were  staying  at  ('aiiip  Rflease  'Mv.  Thiele 
came  into  our  tent.  He  told  Mrs.  Krus  jiow  the  Indians  had 
killed  his  wife  and  child.  He  assured  li(>r  tliat  her  liusband  was 
alive  and  that  slie  would  soon  see  him  again.  Tlii^n  he  went  on 
talking  about  how  he  and  half-breed  JMoorc  ))ni'icd  the  dead. 
Tliey  had  buried  quite  a  number  before  he  had  courage  enough 
to  go  and  bury  his  wife  and  child.  AVIkmi  he  came  to  their  bodies 
the  hogs  had  eaten  most  of  them  and  tlH>re  was  nothing  left 
but  a  few  pieces  of  their  clothes.  He  said  In-  kiirlt  down  beside 
them  and  cried,  prayed  and  cursed  the  Indians  all  in  one  breath. 
He  swore  that  lie  would  shoot  Indian.s  the  rest  of  his  life.  At 
last  the  half-breed  could  stand  it  no  longer  and  asked  Thiele 
if  he  was  going  to  kill  him,  too.  Mr.  Tliiele  did  not  answer,  at 
which  ^loore  threw  down  his  spade  and  went  away,  leaving  him 
to  bury  his  dead  alone. 

After  burying  what  dead  he  could  that  day  he  started  toward 
the  fort,  not  earing  where  he  went.  With  nothing  to  eat  but 
corn  and  wild  jilums  he  wandered  until  he  met  Sibley's  men. 
He  aske(_l  the  general  to  let  him  have  some  soldiers  to  bury  the 
dead.  General  Sibley  could  not  send  a  force  until  two  weeks 
later,  and  then  thei-e  was  nothing  left  of  the  bodies  but  the  bones 
and  their  clothing.  They  simply  dug  a  hole  beside  the  skeletons, 
rolled  the  bones  in  and  covered  them  uj). 

I  stood  ;Mr.  Thiele  "s  talk  as  long  as  I  could  aud  then  asked 
him  if  he  had  bui-ied  my  folks.  '"Who  are  you?"  he  asked.  I 
told  him  1  was  ^linnie  Buce,  Fred  Buce's  eldest  girl.  He  sliook 
hands  with  me  and  I  sat  down  beside  him.  He  kept  repeating 
over  and  over  again,  "Poor  Fred,  poor  Fred.  How  hard  he 
worked  and  tlien  had  to  leave  it  all  behind."  Suddenly,  recol- 
lecting what  I  had  asked,  he  answered,  "Yes,  child,  I  think  I 
buried  them.  There  W'cre  five  bodies  we  found  on  your  father's 
place  which  we  buried."  Mr.  Thiele's  talk  made  me  sick.  All 
night  I  cried,  and  Mrs.  Krus  took  good  care  of  me.  She  told  me 
stach  a  nice  story,  in  her  plain,  simple  way,  that  I  never  can 
forget  it.  She  told  me  that  after  people  w^ere  dead  nothing 
could  hurt  them,  as  they  were  angels  then,  and  that  Mr.  Thiele 
had  picked  out  such  a  nice  place  to  bury  my  beloved  ones  in ; 
in  a  pretty  meadow  where  the  grass  would  always  grow  so  green 
where  the  prairie  lilies  would  breathe  their  fragrance  over  the 
graves  of  the  departed,  and  where  winter  would  come  and 
cover  up  the  graves  with  its  beautiful  white  snow.  She  told 
me  not  to  cry  about  my  parents  anj'  more.  Every  time  I  felt 
like  crying  to  think  of  the  nice  things  she  had  told  me.  I  tried 
my  best  to  do  as  ilrs.  Krus  had  told  me  and  found  it  was  much 
better  not  to  cry. 


190         _  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

Soon  after  this  we  broke  up  camp  and  moved.  ]My  sister  and 
I  got  in  the  same  wagon  witli  Ilattie  Adams  and  Mary  Schwandt. 
Wlien  we  halted  in  the  evening  my  sister  and  I  were  both  asleep. 
Our  teamster  was  a  young  bo.y  about  eighteen  or  nineteen  years 
of  age.  He  picked  me  up  out  of  the  wagon  as  though  I  was  a 
baby.  I  screamed,  as  it  friglitened  me  so.  He  said  he  did  not 
mean  to  frighten  me.  It  was  quite  cold  that  evening  and  our 
clothes  were  very  thin.  I  was  also  very  unliap])y  when  1  found 
out  tliat  Mary  was  gone  and  that  I  would  see  her  no  more.  I 
tried  not  to  cry,  but  the  tears  would  come  anyway.  Our  young 
friend,  tlie  team.ster.  was  a  (ierman  and  lie  felt  very  sorry  for  us. 
He  baked  us  some  pancakes  and  made  some  coffee.  After  sup- 
per he  built  a  fire,  got  the  blanket  from  the  wagon  and  put  it 
around  ns  both  and  told  us  to  sit  there  until  he  fed  his  oxen.  I 
sat  there  a  while  and  finally  getting  tired  of  waiting  I  started 
to  look  up  Hiy  new  acquaintance  and  his  ox  team.  To  my  sur- 
prise I  found  one  of  the  oxen  was  our  black  ox  "Billy."  I  told 
the  teamster  of  it  and  put  my  arm  around  "Billy's"  neck.  My 
new  friend,  tlie  teamster,  laughed  and  told  me  that  "Billy"  was 
a  lazy  ox,  but  he  was  going  to  use  him  better  since  he  had 
learned  his  history.  When  his  work  was  done  we  came  back  to 
the  fire.  We  found  a  man  sitting  on  a  log  by  the  fire,  watching 
my  sleeping  sister.  My  young  friend  told  me  it  was  his  sister's 
husband.  They  talked  a  long  while  about  ns.  Tlie  new  arrival 
asked  me  a  great  many  questions  about  my  people  and  where 
we  lived.  Finally  he  said  he  thought  my  father  was  alive.  The 
soldiers  had  picked  up  a  man  near  New  Ulm  badly  wounded, 
who  had  walked  many  miles  after  he  was  sliot,  and  he  thought 
that  probably  it  was  my  father.  I  thought  of  what  Thiele  had 
said  about  burying  my  parents  and  told  him  of  it.  He  said  that 
Thiele  had  buried  so  many  dead  that  he  may  have  made  a  mis- 
take. I  wish  he  had  never  told  me  this,  as  it  only  gave  me  false 
hopes,  and  when  I  found  out  the  truth  it  made  me  feel  more 
disappointed. 

The  next  morning  we  started  for  the  fort.  After  an  early 
breakfast  a  teamster  took  and  put  me  in  his  wagon.  While 
we  were  waiting  for  some  more  women  and  cliildren  to  come  to 
the  wagon  I  told  our  new  teamster  that  I  had  a  brother  among 
the  prisoners  and  wished  he  could  go  along,  too.  He  consented, 
and  as  my  brother  came  along  just  then  he  asked  him.  My 
brother  answered  that  he  was  in  no  great  hurry  to 'get  to  St. 
Peter  and  would  i-ather  stay  with  the  ox  teams.  I  tried  my  best 
to  get  him  to  come,  but  he  would  not.  He  called  me  a  cry  baby 
and  said  I  always  wanted  something.  If  we  would  have  known 
then  that  we  were  not  to  meet  again  for  two  long  years  our  fare- 
well would  have  been  more  affectionate. 

Among  those  who  rode  on  our  wagon  were  Ludwig  Kitzman, 


IIlsToin"  OF  K'K.WIIJ^E  COUNTY  191 

Mrs.  Urban  and  Mrs.  Krus  with  their  children,  an  American  lady 
with  two  children  and  a  boj^  about  eight  or  nine  years  old.  It 
was  very  cold  that  morning,  the  wind  blowing  a  perfect  gale. 
Our  teamster  took  oi¥  his  overcoat  and  gave  it  to  my  sister  and 
me  to  cover  ourselves  up  with.  The  little  American  boy  was 
shivering  from  the  cold  and  also  tried  to  get  under  the  coat. 
I  would  not  allow  that,  however,  and  slapped  him  in  the  face. 
That  Avas  too  much  for  Ludwig  Kitzinan,  and  he  told  me  I  was 
the  meanest  girl  he  had  ever  seen.  I  did  feel  ashamed  of  myself 
and  offered  the  boy  the  coat,  but  the  teamster  settled  the  diffi- 
culty by  giving  him  a  horse  blanket. 

All  that  day  we  traveled  and  passed  many  deserted  houses 
with  nice  gardens,  but  no  living  thing  in  sight.  Even  the  few 
hardy  flowers  that  were  left  in  the  gardens  looked  sad  and 
forsaken  as  we  passed  by.  How  desolate  everything  seemed.  In 
the  evening  Ave  stopped  at  a  deserted  farm  house.  There  were  a 
lot  of  stables  around  it  and  the  log  house  looked  something  like 
ours  did.  My  sister  thought  we  were  home  when  she  saw  the 
house. 

When  we  got  inside  she  looked  around  and  asked,  "Where 
is  father  and  mother?"  I  was  obliged  to  tell  her  the  whole  sad 
truth,  that  we  would  never  see  our  parents  again.  She  cried  so 
hard  that  the  teamster  picked  her  up  and  carried  her  to  sleep. 

The  next  morning  we  started  out  early,  as  they  wanted  to 
reach  Fort  Ridgely  that  day.  There  were  five  or  six  horse  teams 
which  took  the  women  and  children.  The  rest  of  the  teams 
stayeii  behind  and  got  to  the  fort  later.  Everything  went  well 
until  about  noon,  when  all  at  once  we  heard  sliooting  over  the 
hill  ahead  of  us.  The  teams  all  stopped  and  everything  was  in 
the  greatest  confusion.  Some  of  the  women  and  children  wanted 
to  run  for  the  woods.  Everybody  was  crying,  some  were  praying 
and  others  were  cursing.  Just  then  we  saw  about  forty  Indians 
running  for  the  very  woods  the  women  had  been  wanting  to  run 
to.  One  of  the  teamsters  ventured  to  say  that  there  were  soldiers 
beyond  the  hill  or  the  Indians  would  not  be  running,  and  so  it 
proved,  for  just  then  a  lot  of  soldiers  appeared  over  the  hill  on 
horseback.  One  horse  was  carrying  two  soldiers.  The  ofifieers 
said  that  they  had  met  the  Indians  and  had  exchanged  a  few 
shots  with  them,  resulting  in  the  killing  of  one  of  the  soldiers' 
horses.  While  the  officer  was  talking  one  of  the  women  cried 
out,  "0  look!  There  comes  a  whole  army  of  Indians."  We  all 
looked  in  the  direction  she  was  pointing,  and,  sifi'e  enough,  there 
were  a  lot  of  men  on  horseback.  It  seemed  like  a  large  cloud  of 
dust  coining  in  our  direction  like  a  whirlwind.  We  could  not 
tell  whether  they  were  soldiers  or  Indians,  but  as  they  turned 
out  to  be  soldiers  we  were  all  happy  to  see  them.  They  had  been 
out   scouting  and,   hciiriiig  tlic  shooting,  came   to  see  what    the 


192  IIIs;TORV  of  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

trouble  was.  After  the  excitement  had  died  down  no  one  seemed 
to  care  for  anything  to  eat  so  we  resumed  our  journey  to  the 
fort. 

About  an  hour  after  starting  we  saw  a  lone  man  coming 
across  the  praire  toward  us.  As  he  came  nearer  Ludwig  Kitz- 
man  exclaimed,  "It  is  Mr.  Gluth!"  and  jumped  off  the  wagon 
and  ran  towards  liim.  He  spoke  with  the  man  about  something 
for  quite  a  while,  at  which  the  man  dropped  on  the  ground  and 
cried  like  a  baby.  Some  of  the  men  went  to  see  what  his  trouble 
was  and  found  out  that  he  was  the  father  of  August  Gluth,  a 
little  ten-year-old  boy  who  had  been  a  prisoner  with  the  Indians, 
and  that  this  was  the  first  news  he  had  received  that  his  son  was 
alive. 

Before  we  reached  Fort  Ridgely  a  man  driviug  an  ox  team 
caught  up  with  us  and  took  Mrs.  Lammers  and  her  two  children 
with  him.  She  was  the  first  prisoner  we  parted  with  on  the 
road  and  many  of  the  women  ci-ied  when  they  bade  her  good-bye. 
Afterwards  I  heard  that  the  man  was  Mr.  Rieke  and  that  he 
married  ^Irs.  Lammers. 

At  last  we  reached  the  fort,  tired  and  hungry.  The  soldiers 
marched  hs  into  the  dining  room,  where  supper  was  already 
wating  for  us.  Soldiers  were  standing  everywhere  behind  our 
cliairs  to  see  that  every  little  child  had  enough  to  eat.  It  was 
the  first  time  in  ten  long  weeks  that  we  had  eaten  at  a  table  like 
civilized  people.  When  supper  was  over  they  took  us  to  another 
room,  where  they  made  up  some  beds  on  the  floor  for  us. 

The  next  morning  they  did  not  wake  us  as  early  as  usual. 
After  breakfast  some  of  us  children  begged  Mrs.  Krus  to  let  us 
see  little  I\Iinnie  Smith.  She  had  been  turned  over  to  Mrs.  Muller 
for  treatment.  She  consented  to  take  us,  and  when  we  arrived 
at  the  hospital  we  found  Minnie  lying  in  a  nice  clean  bed  with 
her  hair  curled  as  nice  as  her  mother  used  to  curl  it.  She  opened 
her  blue  eyes  one  moment  and  smiled.  Then  she  closed  them 
again,  as  if  too  tired  to  keep  them  open.  IIow  badly  we  tVlt  ami 
all  commenced  to  cry.  The  lady  who  stood  at  the  head  of  the 
bed  motioned  for  us  to  go.  It  was  the  last  we  saw  of  little 
]\Iinnie,  for  two  days  later  she  died  and  her  troubles  were  ended. 
When  we  got  back  the  teams  were  already  waiting  for  us  and 
we  started  for  St.  Peter. 

On  our  waj-  to  St.  Peter  we  could  see  people  in  the  field  at 
work  here  and  there,  and  also  a  few  herds  of  cattle  grazing  in 
the  meadoM-s.  One  jtlace  we  passed  a  man  was  waving  his  hat 
and  calling  to  us.  The  teams  stopped  to  see  what  he  wanted. 
Presently  two  men  with  milk  came  up,  while  the  teamsters 
cheered  the  men  as  they  came  and  thanked  them,  that  it  was 
the  greatest  treat  they  could  give  us,  for  so  many  of  the  children 
had  asked  for  milk.     How  greedily  we  drank  it,  and  the  men 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  193 

smiled  as  they  watched  us  and  said  they  were  sorry  that  they 
had  no  more. 

That  evening  we  reached  St.  Peter,  where  we  were  turned 
loose  in  an  empty  store.  A  fire  was  burning  here,  Avhich  was  a 
most  welcome  sight,  as  we  were  cold.  Some  kind  person  had 
carried  in  a  few  arms  of  hay  for  us  to  sleep  on.  We  had  but 
little  for  supper.  The  town  was  full  of  people  who  had  fled  from 
tlieii-  lioincs. 

The  next  morning  people  came  crowding  in,  bright  and  early, 
to  look  for  friends.  No  one  seemed  to  think  of  breakfast.  Mr. 
Lang  was  one  of  the  first  to  come  in.  His  wife  and  two  children 
stood  just  opposite  the  door.  I  never  saw  a  more  joyful  meeting 
in  my  life.  Those  who  had  no  friends  were  all  crying.  There 
was  hardly  a  dry  eye  in  the  house.  Mary  Riefe  came  in  next, 
dressed  in  the  deepest  of  mourning.  She  looked  over  the  crowd 
and  never  spoke  a  word.  Sadly  she  turned  to  the  door  and 
walked  out,  having  found  none  of  her  people.  She  was  working 
away  from  home,  when  the  Indians  had  killc'd  nearly  all  her  family 
and  her  lover.  Afterwards  she  found  two  elder  brothers  who 
escaped.  I  held  my  sister  by  the  hand,  as  I  was  afraid  some  one 
in  the  crowd  might  take  her  away,  and  I  would  not  know  what 
had  become  of  her. 

People  were  still  coming  in  to  claim  friends  who  were  sup- 
posed to  be  dead.  I  could  not  help  watching  the  door  and 
thinking  of  the  story  the  teamster  had  told  me,  but  it  was  in 
vain — my  father  and  mother  never  came.  At  last  as  the  crowd 
was  beginning  to  thin  out  Rev.  Frederic  Emde,  of  the  Evan- 
gelical church,  touched  me  on  the  shoulder  and  said  he  would 
take  me.  I  told  him  that  I  had  a  little  sister  with  me  and  wanted 
him  to  take  her  also.  Mrs.  Emde  then  came  to  us  and  took  off 
her  veil  and  tied  it  around  my  sister's  head  and  a  little  shawl 
around  mine.  "While  I  was  waiting  for  them  to  leave  with  us,  I 
looked  once  more  over  the  crowd.  In  one  corner  lay  Ludwig 
Kitzman  talking  to  a  man  and  boy,  and  in  another  corner  sat 
the  little  brown-faced  boy  of  whom  I  have  spoken  before.  He 
looked  so  sad  and  no  one  seemed  to  notice  him.  Often  have  I 
wondered  what  became  of  him.  Mrs.  Inefeld  was  looking  out  of 
the  window  with  tears  in  her  eyes,  holding  her  baby  so  close  to 
her.  Her  husband  and  all  her  folks  had  been  killed  and  there 
was  no  one  to  claim  her.  Henrietta  Krieger  found  her  mother 
aftei'wards.     How  pleased  she  Avas  to  see  her. 

At  last  Sir.  and  Mrs.  Emde  were  ready  to  go.  They  first  took 
us  to  a  house,  where  we  had  breakfast,  after  which  we  went  to 
a  store  to  get  us  some  shoes  and  stockings.  Mr.  Emde  told  him 
our  story,  at  which  he  said  he  would  make  us  a  present  of  what 
we  wanted.  When  we  were  dressed  as  comfortable  as  they  could 
make  us  we  started  for  New  Ulm.    It  was  about  noon  when  we 


194  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

left  aud  did  not  stop  until  we  i-eaclied  a  farm  house  that  evening. 
The  next  day  we  reached  John  Muhs,  a  brother  of  Mrs.  Emde, 
who  lived  six  miles  south  of  New  Ulm.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Muhs  were 
my  parents  for  the  next  two  years  and  ray  sister  stayed  with 
Mr.  Emde. 

I  told  Mr.  Emde  of  my  brother,  and  lie  promised  that  he 
would  look  for  him  when  he  went  back  to  St.  Peter.  He  found 
out  that  my  brother  had  been  picked  up  in  St.  Paul  by  another 
minister  and  later  was  sent  to  a  family  near  Hutchinson.  The 
man  who  took  my  brother  was  appointed  our  guardian  and 
received  quite  a  sum  of  money,  about  $1,200,  for  my  father's 
personal  property.  This  was  too  much  for  him  to  let  go.  As 
soon  as  he  had  ever.ything  settled  as  he  wanted  it  he  came  to 
Mr.  Muhs  and  Mr.  Emde  and  asked  him  to  give  me  and  my  sister 
up  to  him,  as  he  was  well  off  and  would  adopt  us.  Finally  ]\Ir. 
Muhs  consented  and  turned  us  over  to  him. 

When  we  got  to  our  new  home  we  soon  found  out  that  our 
guardian  owned  nothing  but  a  farm  which  he  had  bought  with 
the  money  he  so  cunningly  appropriated.  As  for  schooling,  Ave 
saw  but  little  of  it.  I  do  not  wish  to  speak  unkindly  of  my 
guardian,  as  he  really  did  not  abuse  me,  and  I  think  he  would 
have  done  what  was  right,  but  he  was  not  well  and  his  wife  was 
at  the  liead  of  the  family.  They  have  both  passed  away  since 
and  I  will  not  judge  them  now.  Of  my  father's  property  we 
never  received  one  cent. 

When  I  was  fifteen  years  old  I  started  out  iu  the  world  alone 
to  earn  my  own  living.  After  I  left  them  I  fell  into  better  hands. 
I  worked  out  summers  and  went  to  school  winters.  Being  already 
able  to  read  in  German,  in  time  I  received  a  fair  ed\ieatiou.  In 
1879  I  married  Owen  Carrigan  and  am  the  mother  of  five  chil- 
dren. My  husband  died  in  1898.  As  to  my  sister  Amelia,  she 
left  our  guardian  at  the  age  of  fourteen  and  went  back  to  Rev. 
Emde.    She  later  became  Mrs.  Reynolds  of  Minnea[)0lis. 

My  brother  left  for  Montana  at  the  age  of  nineteen.  When 
we  were  at  Camp  Release  he  came  one  day  and  told  me  that  he 
had  seen  all  the  Indians  that  were  to  be  hung,  but  the  one  who 
killed  our  parents  was  not  among  them.  He  cried  and  said, 
"Yes,  he  is  a  good  Indian  now.  Just  wait  until  I  get  big,  I  will 
hunt  Indians  the  rest  of  my  life  aud  will  kill  them,  too,  if  I  can 
find  them.'"  For  two  years  after  we  parted  he  would  write  to  me 
regularly,  but  then  we  heard  no  more  of  him.  I  am  inclined 
to  think  that  he  was  killed  at  the  time  General  Custer  made  his 
last  stand,  for  that  spring  I  received  his  last  letter. 

There  are  only  three  places  that  I  would  like  to  see  again. 
One  is  the  large  flat  lime  rock  on  the  bank  of  the  Minnesota 
river  where  my  brother  and  I  used  to  go  fishing.  Years  have 
passed  and  many  a  person  has  claimed  my  white  rock  since.    The 


HISTORY  OP  RENVILLE  COUNTY  195 

ludiaus  tliat  used  to  pass  iis  in  their  canoes  so  silently  they 
seemed  like  ghosts,  you  could  hardly  hear  the  dip  of  their  oars, 
have  long  since  fled  from  the  banks  of  the  river  and  could  not 
frighten  now.  The  second  place  is  the  spring  near  my  father's 
place,  where  my  playmates  and  I  used  to  pick  the  yellow  lady- 
slippers.  The  third  is  the  creek  near  our  home  where  the  lovely 
white  cherry  blossoms  were  so  thick  that  they  looked  like  a  white 
sheet.  Little  Pauline  and  Minnie  Kitzman,  my  sister  Augusta 
and  I  brought  our  aprons  full  home  to  make  garlands  out  of  them. 
Years  after,  when  I  used  to  see  the  white  cheri-y  blossoms,  I 
used  to  wish  that  I  could  go  back  and  cover  the  graves  of  my 
little  friends  with  the  flowers  they  loved  so  well. 

"The  flowers  that  bloom  in  the  wildwood 
Have  since  dropped  their  beautiful  leaves. 

And  the  many  dear  friends  of  my  childhood 

Have  slumbered  for  years  in  their  graves."  ' 


CHAPTER  XIV. 
CAPTIVE  AMONG  THE  SIOUX. 

Experiences  of  Mrs.  N.  D.  White,  of  Beaver  FaUs — Unrest  Among 
the  Indians — News  of  the  Uprising — Desperate  Flight — Cap- 
ture— Wedge  Killed — Henderson  Injured — Mrs.  Henderson 
and  Children  Burned — Scenes  of  Horror — Eugene  White 
KUled^Boy  of  Twelve  Escapes — Captives  Taken  to  Crow's 
Village — Life  Among  the  Indians — Removal — Incidents  of 
the  March — Rescue — Camp  Release — Scenes  of  Delight — 
Reunion — Retrospection. 

The  story  1  bring  to  you  includes  what  I  saw  and  what 
occurred  to  myself  and  family  during  the  most  terrible  Indian 
massacre  that  was  ever  known  in  our  fair  country.  Fifteen 
thousand  square  miles  of  territory  were  overrun  by  the  savages, 
and  their  trails  in  Minnesota  were  marked  by  blood  and  fire, 
while  men,  women  and  innocent  children  were  indiscriminately 
butchered  or  made  prisoners. 

I  was  born  in  the  town  of  Alexander,  Genesee  county.  New 
York,  February  10,  1825,  mj'  maiden  name  being  Urania  S. 
Frazer,  and  I  was  married  to  Nathan  Dexter  White,  October  1, 
1845.  "We  remained  in  New  York  state  about  two  years,  and 
then  emigrated  to  Columbia  county,  Wisconsin,  where  we  lived 
fifteen  years.  In  the  spring  of  1862  we  again  turned  our  faces 
westward,  and  June  28  found  us  in  Renville  county,  Minnesota. 

Little  did  we  think  how  soon  we  should  pass  through  the 
terrible  ordeal  that  awaited  us.    We  commenced  the  erection  of 


196  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

our  log  eabiu  at  the  base  of  the  bluff  in  the  valley  of  Beaver 
ereek,  near  its  opening  into  the  wide  iliuiiesota  river  valley, 
■with  stout  hands  and  willing  minds,  looking  hopefully  forward 
to  better  times,  for  we  thought  we  had  selected  the  very  heart 
of  this  western  paradise  for  our  home.  Truly  it  was  beautiful, 
even  in  its  wild,  uncultivated  condition,  with  its  gigantic  trees 
in  the  creek  valley,  its  towering  bluffs  and  the  sweet-scented  wild 
flowers.  A  babbling  brook  formed  a  part  of  the  eastern  boundary 
of  our  land,  and  its  broad  acres  of  prairie  made  it  desirable 
enough  to  have  satisfied  the  wishes  of  the  most  fastidious  lover 
of  a  fine  farm.  We  had  just  got  settled  in  our  new  log  house 
when  the  Sioux  Indians  who  lived  near  us  began  to  be  uneasy. 

Little  Crow's  village  was  siti;ated  about  six  miles  from  our 
house,  across  the  Minnesota  river.  His  warriors  numbered  about 
eight  hundred.  These  Indians,  with  their  families,  by  reason 
of  the  scarcity  of  buft'aloes  and  other  wild  game,  were  largely 
dependent  upon  their  annuities.  They  were  supplied  with  pro- 
visions from  the  commissarj'  stores  at  the  Lower  Sioux  Indian 
Agency,  near  Little  Crow's  village,  and  they  also  received  their 
annuities  from  the  agent  at  this  point.  The  summer  of  that 
eventful  year  was  to  all  appearances  very  favorable  to  them,  so 
far  as  crops  were  concerned.  Their  many  cornfields,  of  nearly 
a  thousand  acres,  bore  promise  of  rich  yield.  We  frequently  saw 
the  Indians  on  the  tops  of  the  bluffs  overlooking  our  dwelling. 
They  seemed  to  be  watching  for  something.  When  questioned 
they  said  they  were  looking  for  Ojibways.  I  think  they  must 
have  held  war  meetings  or  councils,  for  we  often  heard  drums 
in  the  evening  on  their  side  of  the  Minnesota  river  several  weeks 
before  the  outbreak. 

Reports  came  to  us  that  some  of  the  Indians  had  made  a  raid 
upon  the  eommissaiy  stores  at  the  Upper  Agency,  but  we  paid 
little  attention  to  it,  thinking  it  only  a  rumor. 

The  annuity  was  to  have  been  paid  in  June,  but,  owing  to 
the  Civil  war  that  was  then  raging  between  the  United  and  Con- 
federate States,  the  money  was  delayed.  The  Indians  were  com- 
pelled to  ward  off  starvation  by  digging  roots  for  food.  Three 
or  four  weeks  previous  to  the  outbreak  we  could  see  squaws 
almost  every  day  wandering  over  the  prairie  in  search  of  the 
nutritious  roots  of  the  plant  known  to  the  French  voyageurs  as 
the  "pomme  de  terre."  With  a  small  pole  about  six  feet  long, 
having  one  end  sharpened,  they  dug  its  tap-root,  which  they 
called  tipsinah,  somewhat  resembling  a  white  English  turnip 
in  color,  taste  and  shape. 

Many  of  the  Indians  had  pawned  their  guns  for  provisions. 
My  husband  had  taken  several  in  exchange  for  beef  cattle. 
Among  them  was  Little  Crow's  gim.  This  manner  of  dealing 
with  the  white  man  was  not  satisfactory  to  them,  and  especially 


TH¥.  WEW   YOf^K    I 
iMJ8LlC   LIBRARY 


i       v.uoR.   LENOX.   ^ND   J 
i    ,  n.DEN     •■OUNOA.TION9I 


HISTOHY  OF  KK.Wll.l,!-:  (orXTV  197 

to  be  conipi'llfil  tlius  to  part  witli  their  "inns  was  very  liai'd. 
Knowing  the  treachery  of  the  Indians,  none  of  us  should  have 
been  sui'prised  when  this  desperate  outbreak  overwhelmed  us, 
and  yet  wlien  the  eighteenth  day  of  August,  1862.  eaine,  with  its 
eioudless  sky,  not  one  of  the  scatterecl  scttler-s  was  pre[)ared  for 
lirntection  against  the  eai-nage  which  was  to  overwhelm  tiieiii. 

At  tiiis  timi'  nearly  every  farmei-  was  busy  making  hay,  but 
my  husband  fortiniately  was  on  a  trip  to  Blue  Eai-th  county, 
about  sixty  miles  southeast  of  us.  I  say  fortiinately,  because 
every  man  stood  in  great  danger  of  being  killed,  and  in  all  prob- 
ability that  wotdd  have  been  his  fate  if  he  had  been  with  us,  as 
no  men  among  the  settlers  were  taken  prisoners. 

The  fii'st  outbreak,  the  attack  on  oiu-  fleeing  party,  and  the 
beginning  of  my  eai)tivity  were  on  Monday,  August  IS,  and  I 
was  released  thii'ty-nine  days  afterward,  on  September  26. 

While  1  was  busily  engaged  gathering  up  the  clothing  for 
the  iiurpose  of  doing  my  washing  on  the  morning  of  the  out- 
break, my  daughter  Julia,  fourteen  years  old,  who  had  been 
assisting  at  the  house  of  Mr.  Henderson,  about  a  half  mile  from 
us,  whose  wife  was  very  sick,  came  running  in,  accompanied  by 
a  daughter  of  J.  W.  Earle.  and  breathlessly  told  me  that  the 
Indians  were  coming  to  kill  us,  and  that  I  must  go  back  with 
them  quick.  This  frightened  me,  in  fact,  it  seemed  to  strike 
me  duiid);  but.  suddenly  reeovering  my  thoughts,  i  immediately 
began  i)lainung  what  we  should  take  with  us.  Soon  I  came  to 
the  conclusion  that  it  would  be  folly  to  attemi)t  to  take  anything. 
But  on  moving  husband's  overcoat  1  caught  sight  of  a  large 
pocketbook  that  contained  valuable  p;ipers  and  some  money. 
This  I  quiekly  secured,  and  managed  to  keep  it  during  all  my 
captivity.  1  caught  up  my  baby,  five  months  old,  and  placed  him 
on  one  arm,  and  took  Ijittle  ("row's  gun  in  the  other  hand.  My 
daughter  also  carried  a  gun.  We  hurriedly  wended  oui-  way  to 
the  house  of  the  sick  iieigldior,  ami  thenee  went  to  the  house  of 
Mr.  Earle. 

There  I  found  my  twelve-year-old  son  .Millai'd,  Avho  had  been 
herding  sheep.  Having  learned  of  the  li'()ul)le  with  the  Indians, 
he  had  driven  the  sheep  up  and  jnit  tliein  in  the  yard.  Eugene, 
my  oldest  son.  liad  gone  o\it  on  the  prairie  to  bring  in  our  colts, 
to  keep  them  from  the  Indians,  because  they  were  collecting  all 
the  horses  in  the  neighborhood  to  ride,  as  they  said,  in  hunting 
Ojibways,  that  being  the  excuse  they  gave  for  lliis  bold  robbery. 
He  found  that  the  Indians  had  already  got  the  eolts  and  were 
breaking  them  to  ride,  having  them  in  a  slough,  where  they  coidd 
easily  handle  tlicin.  ( 'onse((uenI  ly  lie  came  hack  to  the  house  of 
]\rr.  Earle.  On  his  way  back  he  met  .Mr.  Wiclimann.  a  uei<ilil)or 
.inst  fi'om  the  agency,  who  told  hiui  tiiat  the  Indians  were  killing 
all  the  white  people  there. 


19S  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

At  the  house  of  Mr.  Earle  twenty-seven  neighbors  were  assem- 
bled, men,  women  and  children.  Teams  of  horses  were  soon 
hitched  to  wagons,  and  we  started  on  our  perilous  journey. 

The  Indians,  anticipating  our  flight  and  knowing  the  direction 
we  should  be  likely  to  take,  had  secreted  themselves  in  ambush 
on  either  side  of  the  road  in  the  tall  grass.  On  our  arrival  in  the 
ambush  twenty  or  thirty  Indians  in  their  war  paint  rose  to  their 
feet ;  they  did  not  shoot,  but  surrounded  us,  took  our  horses  by 
the  bits,  and  commanded  us  to  surrender  to  tliem  all  our  teams, 
wagons  and  everything  except  the  clothing  we  had  on.  A  parley 
with  them  in  behalf  of  the  sick  woman  was  had  by  one  of  our 
number  wlio  could  speak  the  Sioux  language.  The  Indians 
finally  consented  that  we  might  go,  if  we  would  leave  all  the 
teams,  wagons,  etc.,  except  one  team  and  a  light  wagon  in  which 
Mrs.  Henderson  and  her  two  children  had  been  placed  on  a 
feather  bed. 

We  felt  a  little  more  hopeful  at  getting  such  easy  terms  of 
escape,  but  our  hopes  were  of  short  duration,  for  they  soon 
became  dissatisfied  with  the  agreement  they  liad  made  and  gave 
notice  that  they  must  have  our  last  team,  and  we  were  forced 
to  stop  and  comply  with  their  demand.  The  team  was  given  up 
and  the  Indians  said  we  might  go.  Several  men  took  hold  of 
the  wagon  and  we  again  started,  feeling  that  tliere  was  still  a 
little  chance  of  escape.  We  had  gone  only  a  short  distance  when 
we  M'ere  made  fully  aw^ire  of  the  treacliery  that  predominates 
in  the  Indian  character.  Tliey  commenced  shooting  at  the  men 
drawing  the  wagon,  ill-.  Henderson  and  Jehiel  Wedge,  in  corii- 
plianee  with  Mrs.  Henderson's  wishes,  held  up  a  pillowslip  as  a 
flag  of  truce,  l)ut  tlie  Indians  kept  on  firing.  The  pillowslip  was 
soon  riddled.  Mr.  Henderson's  fingers  on  one  liand  were  shot 
off  and  Mr.  Wedge  was  killed. 

Then  commenced  a  flight,  a  run  for  life,  on  the  open  prairie, 
by  men,  women  and  children,  unarmed  and  defenseless,  before 
the  cruel  savages  armed  with  guns,  tomahawks  and  scalping 
knives.  Imagine,  if  you  can,  tlie  awful  sight  here  presented  to 
my  view,  both  before  and  after  being  captured — strong  men  mak- 
ing desperate  efforts  to  save  themselves  and  their  little  ones  from 
the  scalping  knives  of  their  merciless  foes,  wlio  were  in  hot  pur- 
suit, shooting  at  them  rapidly  as  they  ran.  Before  the  Indians 
passed  me  the  bullets  were  continually  whizzing  by  my  head. 
Those  who  could  escape,  and  their  murderous  enemies,  were  soon 
out  of  my  sight.  In  one  instance  a  little  boy  was  shot  and  killed 
in  his  father's  arms. 

Woe  and  despair  now  seized  all  of  us  who  were  made  cap- 
tives. The  bravest  among  us  lost  courage,  being  so  helpless, 
defenseless  and  unprepared  for  this  act  of  savage  warfare.  With 
blanched  faces  we  belield  the  horrible  scene  and  clasped  our  help- 


HISTORY  OF  REN^■ILLE  COUNTY  199 

less  little  children  closer  to  us.  Then  fearful  thoughts  of  torture 
crowded  into  our  minds,  as  i\lrs.  Henderson  and  her  two  children 
were  taken  rudely  from  the  bed  in  the  wagon,  throM'n  violently 
on  the  ground,  and  covered  with  the  bed,  to  which  a  torch  was 
applied.  The  blaze  grew  larger  and  higher  and  I  could  see  no 
more!  My  courage  sank  as  I  wondered  in  a  dazed,  half-insane 
manner  what  would  be  our  fate  and  that  of  other  friends.  The 
two  little  children,  I  was  afterward  told,  had  their  heads  crushed 
by  blows  struck  with  violins  belonging  to  the  family  of  Mr. 
Earle.  The  burial  party  sent  out  by  General  Sibley  from  Fort 
Eidgely  found  the  violins,  with  the  brains  and  hair  of  the  poor 
little  innocents  still  sticking  to  them,  two  weeks  later.  Mr.  Hen- 
derson was  afterward  killed  at  the  battle  of  Birch  Cooley,  Sep- 
tember 2. 

Nine  of  our  number  were  killed  here  in  this  flight,  among 
them  being  our  oldest  son,  Eugene,  then  about  sixteen  years  old. 
Eleven  were  taken  prisoners,  among  these  being  myself,  my  babe 
and  my  daughter,  fourteen  years  old. 

Seven  made  their  escape,  my  twelve-year-old  son  being  among 
them.  They  started  for  Fort  Ridgely,  a  distance  of  twenty  miles, 
thinking  that  there  they  would  be  safe,  but,  on  arriving  near 
the  fort,  thej''  could  see  so  many  Indians  skulking  around  that 
they  tliought  it  extremelj'  dangerous  to  make  any  further  effort 
to  reach  tlie  fort.  They  then  decided  to  go  to  Cedar  Lake,  a 
distance  of  thirty  miles  north.  Their  boots  and  shoes  were  filled 
with'  water  in  wading  through  sloughs  and  became  a  great 
burden  to  them,  so  that  they  were  compelled  to  take  them  off 
to  expedite  their  flight.  Consequently,  in  traveling  through 
coarse  wet  grass,  the  flesh  on  their  feet  and  ankles  was  worn  and 
lacerated  until  the  bones  were  bare  in  places.  They  could  get 
no  food  and  starvation  stared  at  them  with  its  gnawing  pangs. 
They  were  hatless  in  the  scorching  sunshine,  and  were  com- 
pletely worn  out  bj'  wading  through  sloughs  and  hiding  in  the 
tall  grass;  in  fact,  doing  anything  to  make  their  escape  from 
the  Indians. 

When  within  ten  or  fifteen  miles  of  Cedar  Lake  the  strongest 
man  of  the  party  was  sent  ahead  for  help,  to  get  food  for  those 
who  were  unable  to  walk  much  farther.  On  reaching  a  rise  of 
ground  he  turned  quickly,  motioned  to  them  and  then  threw 
himself  in  the  tall  grass.  The  others  of  the  party  knew  that  this 
meant  danger  and  hid  themselves  as  quickly  as  possible.  Soon 
sharp  reports  of  guns  came  to  their  ears.  They  supposed,  of 
course,  that  the  young  man  was  killed,  but  it  was  not  so.  These 
Indians,  five  in  number,  had  been  away  on  a  visit,  and  conse- 
quently they  had  not  heard  of  the  massacre.  They  were  retiirn- 
ing  to  Little  Crow's  village.  The  young  man  was  not  seen  by 
these  Indians,  but  tjie  others  had  been  seen  before  dropping  in 


200  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COrXTY 

the  grass.  They  fired  their  gims  for  the  purpose  of  reloading, 
and  soon  tracked  the  party  with  whom  my  sou  was  to  their  hid- 
ing places  bj'  their  trail  in  the  wet  grass.  !My  son  noticed  one 
of  them  skulking  along  on  his  trail  and  watching  him  very 
intently.  He  supposed  that  the  Indian  would  shoot  him,  so  he 
turned  his  face  away  and  waited  for  the  biillet  tJiat  was  to  take 
his  life.  What  a  terrible  moment  it  was  to  a  lad  of  only  twelve 
years ! 

But  as  no  shot  was  fired  he  turned  his  head  to  see  what  the 
Indian  was  doing.  The  Indian  then  asked  him  what  was  the 
matter.  Fearing  to  tell  the  truth  he  told  him  that  the  Ojibways 
were  killing  all  the  white  people  in  their  neighborhood  and  also 
told  how  luiugrj'  they  were. 

The  Indians  gave  them  some  cold  boiled  potatoes,  turning 
them  on  the  ground,  and  asked  to  trade  for  Little  Cro\\-"s  gun, 
which  one  of  the  party  had  received  from  me.  Not  daring  to 
refuse,  they  gave  them  the  gun,  Avhich  Avas  a  very  handsome  one. 
The  Indians  now  left  them  and  they  managed  to  reach  Cedar 
Lake,  being  the  first  to  carry  the  news  of  the  outbreak  to  that 
l)lace.  My  son  traveled  from  Cedar  Lake  to  St.  Peter  without 
further  hardship. 

The  day  when  the  outbreak  commenced  my  husband  was  on 
his  return  from  Blue  Earth  county  with  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Jacobson, 
parents  of  the  sick  Mrs.  Henderson.  Late  in  the  afternoon,  when 
within  six  miles  of  New  Ulm,  they  met  a  large  number  of  settlers, 
men,  women  and  children,  fleeing  for  their  lives,  who  told  them 
that  the  Sioux  Indians  had  commenced  a  desperate  raid  upon 
the  settlers  in  the  vicinit.y  of  New  Ulm,  that  many  of  them  had 
been  killed,  and  that  the  Indians  were  then  besieging  the  village ; 
also  that  word  from  Renville  county  had  been  received,  that  all 
the  settlers  in  the  neighborhood  of  Beaver  Creek  and  Birch 
Cooley  were  murdered,  if  they  had  failed  to  make  their  escape. 

Having  remained  Avith  the  fleeing  party  until  morning,  my 
husband  started  on  his  return  to  the  home  of  Mr.  Jacobson,  a 
distance  of  tliirty  miles.  On  his  Avay  back  he  saw  farms  deserted 
and  cattle  running  at  large  in  fields  of  shocked  grain.  At  Madelia 
he  found  an  assemblage  of  settlers  contemplating  the  idea  of 
making  a  stand  against  the  Indians.  They  resolved  not  to  be 
driven  from  their  homes  by  the  Sioux,  thinking  that  they  could 
defend  themselves  by  building  breastworks  of  logs  which  were 
at  hand.  Consequently  mj^  husband  remained  Avith  them  one 
day  and  assisted  in  the  building  of  the  fortification,  luitil  reliable 
information  came  to  them  that  there  Avere  so  many  Indians 
engaged  in  the  outbreak  that  it  Avould  be  impossible  for  them 
to  make  a  successful  stand.  Therefore,  after  taking  Mr.  and  Mrs. 
Jacobson  to  their  home  he  started  for  St.  Peter.  Avliere  he  arriA^ed 
on  Saturday,  the  tAventy-third  day  of  August. 


IIISTOKV  OF  KK.WILLE  ColXrV  201 

Tlicii'  lie  nut  Millard,  our  twelve-year-old  boy,  who  narrated 
to  liiiu  the  dismal  tidings  of  the  outbreak;  that  his  mother,  sister 
and  little  baby  brother  Avere  taken  off  by  the  Indians,  and  that 
Eugene  was  hit  by  a  bullet  in  the  leg  while  running  in  atlvance 
of  him.  He  told  how  Eugene  ran  about  a  fourth  of  a  mile  after 
being  wounded,  then  turned  a  little  to  one  side  of  the  eourse 
they  were  ruuuing  and  dropped  into  a  cluster  of  weeds.  The 
Indians  were  soon  upon  liim  with  their  scalping  knives.  In  cast- 
ing a  look  back  lie  saw  tlimi  apparently  in  the  act  of  taking  his 
scalp. 

^ly  husband's  team  of  horses  anil  his  carriage  M'ere  i)ressed 
into  military  service  at  St.  I'eter.  He  went  with  General  Sibley's 
forces  from  St.  Peter  to  Fort  Hidgely,  intending  to  go  with  them 
on  their  expedition  against  the  Indians.  But  it  fell  to  his  lot 
to  remain  at  the  fort  until  after  our  release. 

When  I  was  captured  my  captor  seized  me  by  the  shoulders, 
turned  me  quickly  around  and  motioned  lor  me  to  turn  back. 
At  this  I  screamed,  partly  for  the  purpose  of  calling  Mr.  Earle's 
attention  to  see  that  I  w-as  a  prisoner,  and  he  looked  around. 
This  I  did,  thinking  that  he  might  escape  and  give  the  tidings 
to  my  relatives  and  friends. 

•Just  before  I  was  capturetl  my  son  Eugen(>,  who  was  after- 
ward killed,  passed  me  and  said.  "]\Ia.  mm  faster,  or  they  will 
catcli  you.  "  Tliis  was  thi>  last  tinu'  I  lieai'd  liini  s|ieak  or  saw 
liim,  and  he  must  have  been  killed   soon  afterwaivl. 

It  was  now'  near  the  middle  of  the  day:  the  heat  of  the  sun 
Avas  very  intense  and  we  (the  captives)  were  all  suffering  for 
drink.  1  sat  down  a  momoit  to  rest,  and  then  thought  of  un- 
dress, which  liad  become  very  wet  while  wading  through  a 
slough,  so  I  sucked  some  water  fi'om  it.  wliieli  ri'lieveil  ni_\-  thirst 
a  little. 

We  captives  and  a  few  of  the  Indians  walked  back  to  the 
house  of  J.  W.  Eai-le.  The  Indians  entered  tlie  house  and 
delighted  themselves  by  breaking  stoves  and  furniture  of  various 
kinds  and  throwing  crockery  through  the  wimlows.  After  they 
had  completed  the  destruction  of  everything  in  the  house  which 
they  did  not  w'ish  to  appropriate  for  their  own  use  we  were  put 
into  wagons  and  ordered  to  be  taken  to  Little  Crow's  village. 
Members  of  families  were  separated  and  taken  to  different  places, 
seemingly  to  add  to  our  suffering  by  putting  upon  us  the  teri'ible 
agony  of  M-ondering  where  the  other  prisoners  were  and  what 
was  to  be  their  fate.  During  this  ride  we  passed  several  houses 
belonging  to  settlers  who  had  been  killed  or  had  fled  to  save 
their  lives.  The  Indians  entered  these  houses  and  plundered 
them  of  many  valuables,  such  as  bedding  and  (dothing.  On  our 
way  to  the  ^linnesota  bottomland  we  hail  to  deseend  a  very  steep 


202  IIISTOKY  OF  KFA'VH.LK  COT-XTY 

bluff,  where,  by  our  request,  tlie  ludiaiis  gave  us  the  privilege 
of  walking  down. 

After  reaching  tlie  foot  of  the  bluft'  our  coiu'se  was  through 
underbrush  of  all  kinds.  The  thought  of  torture  was  uppermost 
in  my  mind.  I  supposed  that  was  why  such  a  course  was  taken. 
There  was  no  road  at  all,  not  even  a  track.  "We  were  compelled 
to  make  our  way  as  best  we  could  through  grape  vines,  prickly 
ash,  gooseberry  bushes  and  trees.  After  much  difficulty  in  bend- 
ing down  small  trees  in  order  to  let  our  wagons  pass  over  them, 
we  finally  reached  the  Minnesota  river  with  many  rents  in  onr 
clothing  and  numerous  scratches  on  our  arms. 

When  fording  the  river,  we  were  all  given  a  drink  of  river 
water,  some  sugar  and  a  piece  of  bread.  The  sugar  and  bread 
were  taken  from  the  house  of  one  of  my  neighbors.  Just  as  we 
were  driving  into  the  water  the  wagon  containing  my  daughter 
with  other  captives  was  disappearing  beyond  the  top  of  the  bluff 
on  the  other  side  of  the  river.  I  thought  again,  "What  will 
befall  her?" 

We  soon  reached  Little  Crow"s  village,  where  we  were  kept 
about  a  week.  The  village  numbered  about  sixty  tepees,  besides 
Little  Crow's  dwelling,  a  frame  building.  Mrs.  James  Car- 
rothers,  Mrs.  J.  W.  Earle  and  a  little  daughter,  myself  and  babe 
were  taken  to  Little  Crow's.  On  entering  the  house  the  ob.iect 
that  first  met  my  gaze  was  Little  Crow,  a  large,  tall  Indian,  walk- 
ing the  floor  in  a  very  haughty,  dignified  manner,  as  much  as  to 
say,  "I  am  great!"  However,  his  majesty  condescended  to 
salute  us  with  "Ho,"  that  being  their  usual  word  of  greeting. 
The  room  was  very  large.  The  furniture  consisted  of  only  a  few 
chairs,  table  and  camp  kettles.  A  portion  of  the  floor  at  one  end 
of  the  room  was  raised  about  one  foot,  where  they  slept  on 
blankets.  His  four  wives,  all  sisters,  were  busily  engaged  pack- 
ing away  plunder  which  had  been  taken  from  stores  and  the 
houses  of  settlers.  They  gave  us  for  our  supper  bread  and  tea. 
Soon  after  tea  Mrs.  Carrothers  and  myself  were  escorted  to  a 
tepee,  where  we  remained  until  morning,  when  we  were  claimed 
by  different  Indians. 

It  happened  to  be  my  lot  in  the  distribution  of  the  prisoners 
to  be  owned  by  Too-kon-we-chasta  (meaning  the  "Stone  Man") 
and  his  squaw.  They  called  me  their  child,  or  "big  papoose." 
Their  owning  me  in  this  manner  saved  me  probably  from  a  worse 
fate  than  death,  and  although  more  than  a  third  of  a  century 
has  elapsed  since  that  event,  strange  as  it  may  appear  to  some, 
I  cherish  with  kindest  feelings  the  friendship  of  my  Indian 
father  and  mother.  Too-kon-we-chasta  was  employed  bj-  General 
Sibley  as  a  scout  on  his  expedition  against  the  Indians  in  the 
summer  of  1863.  He  now  lives  across  the  Minnesota  river  from 
Morton,  in  Redwood  county,  on  a  farm.    He  and  his  squaw  called 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  203 

on  me  sevei'al  times  when  we  were  living  near  Beaver  Falls. 
They  manifested  a  great  deal  of  friendship.  There  is  a  wide 
difference  in  the  moral,  character  of  Indians. 

Before  retiring  for  the  night  we  were  commanded  to  make 
ourselves  squaw  suits.  The  squaws  told  us  how  to  make  them, 
and  mine  was  made  according  to  their  directions.  Mrs.  Car- 
rothers  failed  to  make  hers  as  told,  and  consequently  was  ordered 
to  rip  apart  and  make  it  over.  I  put  mine  on  while  she  was  mak- 
ing hers  as  first  told.  When  finished  she  put  it  on.  We  thought 
our  looks  were  extremely  ludicrous.  She  cast  a  queer  gaze  at 
me  and  then  commenced  laughing.  I  said  to  her  that  under  the 
circumstances  I  could  see  nothing  to  laugh  about.  She  replied 
that  wc  might  better  laugh  than  cry,  for  we  had  been  told  that 
the  Indians  would  have  no  tears,  and  that  thosi-  who  cried  would 
be  first  to  die. 

I  also  had  to  lay  aside  my  shoes  and  wear  moccasins.  The 
last  I  saw  of  my  shoes  an  Indian  boy  about  a  dozen  years  old 
was  having  great  sport  with  them  by  tossing  them  with  his  feet 
to  see  how  high  he  could  send  them. 

On  the  third  day  of  my  captivity  I  was  taken  out  by  my 
squaw  mother  a  short  distance  from  our  tepee,  beside  a  cornfield 
fence,  and  was  given  to  understand  that  I  must  remain  there 
until  she  came  for  me.  After  being  there  a  short  time,  an  old 
squaw  came  to  me,  and,  leaning  against  the  fence,  gazed  at  me 
some  time  before  speaking.  Finally  she  said  in  a  low  voice,  "Me 
Winnebago :  Sioux  nepo  papoose,"  and  then  left.  I  never  learned 
why  I  was  taken  out  there,  but  have  thought  since  that  the 
Indians  had  decided  to  kill  my  child,  as  "nepo  papoose"  means 
"kill  a  baby;"  that  my  squaw  mother  took  me  there  for  the 
purpose  of  hiding  my  child  from  the  Indians,  and  that  being 
afraid  to  give  the  reason  herself  she  sent  this  old  squaw  from 
another  tribe  to  tell  me. 

During  this  week  of  tepee  life  the  ludicrous  alternated  witii 
the  sublime,  the  laughable  with  the  heart-breaking  and  pathetic. 
We  saw  papooses  of  all  sizes  robed  in  rich  laces  and  bedecked  in 
many  fantastic  styles  with  silk  fabrics,  until  one  must  laugh 
despite  all  their  fearful  surroundings.  When  the  laugh  died  on 
our  lips  the  terrible  thought  crowded  into  our  minds.  Where  did 
these  things  come  from?  What  tales  could  they  tell  if  power 
were  given  them  to  speak?  Where  are  the  butchered  and  muti- 
lated forms  that  once  wore  them?  My  heart  was  crushed,  my 
brain  reeled,  and  I  grew  faint  and  sick  wondering,  or  rather 
trying  not  to  wonder,  what  would  be  our  own  fate. 

The  Indians  through  plunder  had  on  hand  a  good  supply  of 
provisions,  consisting  of  flour,  dried  fruit,  groceries  of  various 
kinds  and  an  abundance  of  fresh  meat.  Their  manner  of  cook- 
ing was  not  very  elaborate;  an  epicure  would  not  have  relished 


204  IIISTOUV  ()!-•  KEXViJ.LE  CorXTY 

it  as  -well  as  we  did,  until  after  being  foreed  by  the  pain  or  weak- 
ness caused  by  the  want  of  food.  Hunger  will  make  food  eooked 
after  the  iiuunicr  of  the  Indians  palatable. 

At  times  it  seemed  to  me  as  though  a  hand  had  grasped  my 
throat  and  was  choking  me  every  time  I  tried  to  swallow  food 
so  great  was  the  stricture  brought  al)out  by  the  fearful  tension 
on  the  nervous  system.  Truly  and  well  has  it  been  said  that  no 
bodily  suffering,  liowever  great,  is  so  keen  as  mental  torture. 

yiy  squaw  mother  was  our  cook.  She  nuxed  bread  in  a  six- 
quart  pan  by  stirring  flour  into  about  two  quarters  of  warm 
water,  with  one  teacnpful  of  tallow  and  a  little  saleratus.  bring- 
ing it  to  the  consistency  of  biscuit  dough.  She  then  took  the 
dough  out  of  the  pan.  turned  it  bottom  side  up  on  the  ground, 
placed  the  dough  on  the  pan,  patted  it  flat  with  her  hands,  cut 
it  in  small  ])ieees,  and  fried  it  in  tallow.  Potatoes  they  tisually 
roasted  in  the  hot  endjers  of  the  camp  fire.  Their  manner  of 
broiling  beefsteak  was  to  put  the  steak  across  two  sticks  over 
the  blaze,  without  salting,  and  in  a  few  ndnutes  it  was  done. 
Tripe  was  an  extremely  favorite  dish  among  them,  and  they 
were  quite  quick  in  its  preparation.  The  intestines  were  taken 
between  the  thumb  and  finger,  the  contents  wei-c  squeezed  out, 
and  then  without  washing  the  tripe  was  liroili-d  an<l  i)repared 
in  regular  Indian  epicurean  style. 

They  follow  tlieir  white  brothers  in  tlu-ir  love  for  tea  and 
eotfee,  which  they  make  very  strong.  They  sometimes  flavored 
their  coffee  with  cinnamon.  ^ly  share  of  coft'ee  was  always  given 
in  a  pint  bowl  with  tiiree  tabh'spoonfuls  of  sugar  in  it.  I  ate 
some  bread,  which,  with  my  tea  aiul  coffee,  composed  my  bill 
of  fare  while  with  them.  In  fact,  I  think  I  could  not  have  eaten 
the  most  deliciotts  meal  ever  pre])ared  by  civilized  people  while 
a  prisoner  among  these  savages,  with  my  family  killed  or  scat- 
tered as  they  were  and  my  own  fate  still  preying  on  my  mind. 

The  Indians  Avere  all  great  lovers  of  jewelry,  as  every  school 
child  knows.  Every  captive  M'as  stripped  of  all  jewelr.y  and 
other  valuables  in  her  possession.  The  Sioux  did  not  wear  rings 
in  their  noses,  like  some  tribes :  but  eveiy  other  available  place 
on  the  body  was  utilized  to  good  advantage  on  which  to  display 
jewelry.  Tlie  clocks  that  had  been  j)lundered  from  many  a 
peaceful  home  were  taken  to  pieces  and  uuide  to  do  service  in 
this  line  of  decoration.  The  large  wheels  were  used  for  earrings, 
and  the  smaller  ones  as  bangles  on  bracelets  and  arndets. 

They  were  also  very  protid  of  being  able  to  carry  a  watch ; 
but  their  clothing,  being  devoid  of  pockets,  lacked  the  most 
essential  convenience  for  this  purpose.  (Jonsequently  some  of 
them  M'ould,  in  derision,  fasten  the  chain  around  the  ankle  and 
let  the  watch  drag  on  the  ground. 

You  may  think   it  strange  that   I  took   any   notice   of  these 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  205 

little  incidents.  However  trifling  it  may  have  been  for  me  to 
observe  their  anties.  it  eertainly  had  the  eft'eet  partially  to  relieve 
me  of  the  great  weight  that  pressed  so  heavily  on  my  mind.  I 
looked  at  my  poor  little  starving  babe,  and  saw  that  lie  was 
growing  thinner  every  day  from  pure  starvation.  I  thought  of 
my  luisbaud  and  children,  whose  fate  1  might  never  know.  Had 
I  given  way  to  all  the  terrors  of  my  situation  I  should  not  have 
been  spared  to  meet  my  family  or  had  any  chance  of  escape,  but 
should  have  met  instant  death  at  the  hands  of  my  cruel  captors. 
My  will  sustained  me  and  forced  me  to  take  note  of  these  insig- 
nificant things,  so  that  I  might  not  sink  or  give  up  to  the  dread- 
ful reality  I  was  passing  through.  I  said  to  one  of  my  neighbor 
captives,  when  we  were  first  made  prisoners,  that  I  felt  just  like 
singing,  so  near  did  I  in  my  excitement  border  on  insanity.  I 
liave  thought  since  many  times  that,  had  I  given  up  to  the 
impulse  and  sung,  it  would  have  been  a  wild  song  and  I  should 
have  eertainly  crossed  the  border  of  insanity  and  entered  its 
confines.  Even  now,  after  thirty-six  years,  I  look  back  and 
shudder,  and  my  heart  nearly  stops  beating  when  these  awful 
things  present  themselves  fidly  to  my  mind.  The  wonder  to 
me  is  how  I  ever  endured  it  all. 

The  warriors  were  away  all  the  time  we  were  in  Little  Crow's 
village.  They  came  back  in  time  to  escort  us  when  we  moved. 
They  told  us  they  had  burned  Fort  Ridgely  and  Ncm'  Ulm,  and 
would  soon  have  all  the  pale  faces  in  the  state  killed.  This  was 
said,  no  doubt,  to  make  our  trials  more  painful,  and  that  we 
might  realize  the  full  extent  of  their  power. 

All  the  time  I  remained  in  Little  Crow's  village  my  bed, 
shawl  and  sunbonnet,  covering  for  myself  and  babe,  both  night 
and  day,  consisted  of  only  one  poor  old  cotton  sheet,  and  on 
our  first  move  I  gave  it  to  an  Indian  to  carry  while  we  forded 
the  Redwood  river.  Indian-like,  he  kept  it.  So  my  squaw  mother 
gave  me  an  old,  dirty,  strong-scented  blanket,  which  I  was  com- 
pelled to  wear  around  me  in  squaw  fashion. 

On  the  fourth  day  of  my  captivity  the  squaws  went  out  on 
the  slough  and  came  back  with  their  arms  full  of  wet  grass, 
which  was  scattered  over  the  ground  inside  the  tepee  to  keep 
us  out  of  the  inud  caused  bj'  the  heavy  rains.  Every  night  when' 
I  lay  down  on  this  wet  grass  to  sleep  I  would  think  that  perhaps 
I  should  not  be  able  to  get  up  again,  and  sometimes  I  became 
almost  enough  discouragiHl  to  wish  that  T  would  never  be  able  to 
rise  again,  so  terrible  was  my  experience. 

I  was  frequently  sent  by  the  squaws  to  the  Minnesota  river, 
a  quarter  of  a  mile  distant,  to  bring  water  for  tepee  use.  At  one 
time  I  passed  several  tepees  where  Indians  and  half-breeds 
camped.  On  my  return  they  set  up  a  frightful  whoop  and  yell, 
which  nearly  stunned  me  with  fear.    However,  I  kept  on  my  way, 


206  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

drew  my  old  sheet  closer  aroimd  me,  and  hurried  back  as  fast 
as  possible.  As  T  entered  our  tejiee  I  drew  a  loug  breath  of 
relief.    I  was  not  sent  there  for  water  again. 

My  sunbonnet  was  taken  from  me  when  I  was  first  captured. 
The   Indians   used   it   for  a   kinnikinick   bag.     KinuikLnick   is   a 
species  of  shrub  from  which  they  scrape  the  bark  to  smoke  with 
their  Indian  tobacco.     They  have  some  long  pipes.    Wliile  smok- 
ing they  let  the  bowl  of  the  pipe  rest  on  the  ground.     When  this 
pipe  was  first   lighted   the  custoui   among  them   was  to   pass  it 
around,  each  Indian  and  squaw  in  the  company  taking  two  or 
three  puffs.     I  never  saw  a  squaw  smoke  except  when  this  long 
pipe  was  passed  arouud.     The  pipe  was  not  presented  to  me  to 
take  a  puif.    I  believe  this  pipe  was  known  as  the  pipe  of  peace. 
A  week  having  elapsed  since  we  were  taken  to  Little  Orow's 
village,   and   the   warriors  having  all   retiu-ned,  an   aged  Indian 
marched   through   the   village   calliug   out   "Puckacheel    Pucka- 
ehee!"  before  every  tepee;  then  the  squaws  inuuediately  com- 
menced taking  down  the  tepees.     We  understood  that  the  crier 
had  given  command  for  a  move,  but  whither  we  did  not  know. 
Their  manner  of  moving  was  very  ingenious.     Evei'y  tepee  has 
six  poles,  about  fifteen  feet  long,  which  were  fastened  by  strips 
or  rawhide  placed  around  the  pony's  neck  and  breast,  three  poles 
on  eaeli  side  of  the  pony,  with  the  small  ends  on  the  ground.    A 
stick  was  tied  to  the  poles  behind  the  pony  to  keep  them  together 
and  spread  in  the  shape  of  a  V;  and  on  the  stick  and  poles  bun- 
dles of  various  kinds,  kettles  and  even  papooses  were  fastened 
when  occasion  required.     It  is  astonishing  to  see  the  amount  of 
service  these  natives  will  get  out  of  one  tepee  and  an  Indian  pony. 
After  getting  the  wagons  and  the  pole  and  pony  conveyances 
loaded,   and    everything   else   in   readiness,   our   procession  was 
ordered  to  "puekachee,"  and  away  we  went,  one  lunidred  and 
seven  white  prisoners  and  about  the  same  number  of  half-breeds 
who  called  themselves  prisoners  (they  may  have  been  prisoners 
in  one  sense  of  the  word),  eight  hundred  warriors,  their  fami- 
lies and  luggage  of  various  kinds.     We  had  a  train  three  miles 
long.     On  either  side  of  our  procession  were  mounted  warriors, 
bedecked  with  war  paint,  feathers  and  ribbons,  and  they  pre- 
sented a  very  gay  appearance,  galloping  back  and  forth  on  eaeli 
side  of  this  long  train.     Their  orders  were  to  shoot  any  white 
prisoner  that  ventured  to  pass  through  their  ranks.     This  was 
done,  of  course,  to  intimidate  the  prisoners.    I  shall  never  forget 
the  varied  sights  this  motley  procession  presented  to  my  view- — 
the  warrior  in  his  glory,  feasting  over  the  fact  that  he  had  killed 
or  captured  so  many  of  his  white  enemies  and  thereby   gotten 
his  revenge  for  the  great  wrongs  he  had  suffered  from  them ;  and 
the    innocent   victims,    the    prisoners,    so    woe-begone,    so   heart- 
broken, so  grotesque  and  awkward  in  their  Indian  dress,  paying 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  207 

tlie  penalty  tluit  tlie  red  man  imagined  tlie  wliite  man  owed  liim, 
for  an  Indian  cares  not  whether  it  is  the  perpetrator  of  a  wrong 
or  not,  if  he  finds  some  white  victim  whereon  to  wreak  his 
revenge. 

Our  cars  were  almost  deafened  by  the  barking  of  dogs,  the 
lowing  of  cattle,  the  ''Puckachee!  Whoa!  Gee!"  of  the  Indians 
in  driving  their  teams  of  oxen,  the  neighing  of  horses,  the  bray- 
ing of  mules,  the  I'attle  of  heavy  wagons.  In  fact,  to  me  it 
seemed  like  a  huge  chaotic  mass  of  living  beings  making  des- 
perate efforts  to  escape  some  great  calamity. 

On  we  went  with  the  utmost  speed,  the  Indians  seeming  to 
be  in  great  glee.  We  crossed  the  Redwood  river  about  one  mile 
from  its  entrance  into  the  Minnesota  river.  The  stream,  swollen 
by  recent  heavy  rains  and  having  a  strong  current,  was  difficult 
and  even  dangerous  to  ford.  Mrs.  Earle,  her  daughter  and 
myself  locked  arms  while  crossing.  Mrs.  Earle 's  feet  were  once 
taken  from  under  her,  and  she  would  have  gone  down  stream 
had  it  not  been  for  the  aid  received  from  us.  A  squaw  carried 
my  babe  across.  Every  Indian  and  squaw  seemed  to  be  in  a 
great  hurry  to  cross  first.  They  dashed  pell-mell  into  the  water, 
regardless  of  their  chances  to  land  their  teams. 

On  this  march  I  had  to  walk  and  carry  my  child.  I  carried 
him  on  my  arms,  which  was  very  disgusting  to  the  squaws.  They 
frequently  took  him  from  my  arms  and  placed  him  on  my  back, 
squaw-fashion,  but  he  always  managed  somehow  to  slip  down 
and  I  had  him  in  my  arms  again.  Before  noon  I  became  so  tired 
that  I  sat  down  to  rest  beside  the  road.  The  squaws,  in  passing 
me,  would  say  "Puckachee!"  But  I  remained  sitting  about  ten 
minutes,  I  should  think,  when  an  old  Indian  came  to  me  and  took 
hold  of  my  hand  to  help  me  up.  I  shook  my  head.  He  then  had 
the  train  halt,  or  a  pai-t  of  it,  a  .short  time.  I  afterward  learned 
that  a  council  was  held,  the  object  being  to  come  to  some  agree- 
ment as  to  how  they  would  deal  with  me.  Some  thought  best 
to  kill  me  and  my  child ;  others  thought  not.  The  final  conclu- 
sion was  to  take  my  child,  place  him  on  a  loaded  wagon,  and 
start  the  train.  Then,  if  I  did  not  "puckachee,"  they  would 
kill  nil-  ami  the  l)ai)y  also.  They  started,  after  putting  the  child 
on  a  wagon,  and  I  followed,  taking  hold  of  the  end-board  of  the 
wagon,  which  proved  to  be  a  great  help  to  me  to  the  end  of  our 
day's  maicli.  We  followed  up  the  Minnesota  river  valley  until 
we  came  to  Kiee  creek,  reaching  that  point  about  sundown,  hav- 
ing traveled  nearly  eighteen  miles. 

Our  tepees  were  soon  pitched,  and  everything  quickly  settled 
into  the  usual  routine  of  tepee  life.  Then  I  wandered  and 
searched  around  among  the  tepees  to  see  if  I  could  find  ray 
daughter  and  other  friends  who  helped  to  make  this  long  train. 

After  a  short  walk  among  the  Indians  and  tepees,  I  was  com- 


-'OS  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

pletely  overjoyed  at  meetiug  my  daughter,  wlioin  I  had  not  seen 
siuee  Ave  forded  the  jMinnesota  river  on  the  day  we  were  made 
captives.  It  was  like  seeing  one  risen  from  the  dead  to  meet 
her.  She  was  as  happy  as  myself.  And  oh !  how  pleased  we 
were  that  so  far  we  had  been  spared  not  oulj-  from  death,  but, 
worse  than  that,  the  Indian's  lust.  Killing  beef  cattle,  cooking, 
and  eating,  seemed  to  be  done  in  great  glee  in  this  camp. 

The  fourth  day  of  our  stay  here  the  command  ■'Puckachee !" 
was  sent  along  as  before,  and  our  gigantic  motley  cavalcade,  with 
its  strange  confusion,  was  soon  on  the  move  westward  again. 
We  passed  Yellow  Medicine  village,  near  which  the  Upper  Sioux 
Agency  was  located.  As  we  came  in  sight  of  it,  we  could  see 
the  barracks  burning,  also  the  mills  situated  at  this  point,  where 
we  crossed  the  Yellow  Medicine  river.  John  Other  Day,  who 
was  a  friend  to  the  whites,  and  was  the  means  of  saving  sixty- 
two  lives,  had  his  house  burned  to  the  ground. 

We  stopped'  after  traveling  a  distance  of  ten  miles,  and  re- 
mained there  eight  or  ten  days.  That  part  of  the  train  where  I 
was,  pitched  their  tepees  beside  a  mossy  slough,  from  which  we 
obtained  water  for  tepee  use.  The  first  few  days  the  water  cov- 
ered the  moss  and  could  be  dipped  with  a  cup.  The  cattle  were 
allowed  to  stand  in  it,  and  dozens  of  little  Indians  were  playing 
in  it  every  day;  consequently  the  water  soon  became  somewhat 
unpalatable  to  the  fastidious.  However,  we  continued  to  use  it. 
After  remaining  there  three  or  four  days  the  water  sank  below 
the  moss.  To  get  it  then  we  had  to  go  out  on  the  moss  and  stand 
a  few  minutes,  when  the  water  would  collect  about  our  feet.  It 
is  astonishing  how  some  persons  will  become  reconciled  to  such 
things  when  forced  upon  them. 

A  papoose  was  very  sick,  but  nothing  was  given  it  to  relieve 
the  little  sufferer.  It  died  about  sundown.  They  made  no  dem- 
onstration of  grief  when  it  died,  nor  mourned  in  the  least;  but 
after  an  hour  or  two  the  warriors  returned,  and  I  suppose  that 
Avhen  notified  they  must  have  given  the  mourning  signal.  A 
dismal  wailing  was  then  begun  and  was  continued  about  a  half 
hour.  It  stopped  just  as  suddenly  as  it  began,  and  not  another 
sound  was  heard.  I  did  not  know  when  or  where  the  remains 
were  deposited,  so  stealthy  were  they  in  their  movements. 

The  death  of  this  baby  caused  me  to  think  of  the  probable 
death  of  my  own.  The  little  fellow  was  a  mere  skeleton.  I  was 
only  able  to  get  a  small  quantit.y  of  milk  for  him  once  in  two 
days.  This  was  all  that  kept  him  from  starving.  To  hold  him  and 
watch  him,  knowing  that  he  was  gradually  pining  away,  was 
what  I  hope  no  mother  will  ever  be  called  upon  to  witness. 

It  was  no  uncommon  occurrence  to  see  the  Indians,  just  be- 
fore going  out  on  a  raid  or  to  battle,  decorate  themselves  with 
feathers,  ribbons,  and  paint.    The  most  hideous  looking  object  I 


HISTORY  OF  KEN'VILLE  COIX'IV  209 

ever  beliuld  was  a  large,  tall  Indian,  who  had  besmeared  his  face 
all  over  with  Vermillion  red,  and  tlien  had  painted  a  stripe  of 
green  around  each  ej-e  and  liis  mouth,  tliiekly  dotting  these 
stripes  with  bright  j-ellow  paint.  OtluTs  would  paint  their 
faces  red,  and  then  apply  a  bright  coat  of  yellow,  which  gave  it 
a  sunset  hue,  after  whieli  a  blue  flower  was  usually  painted  on 
each  cheek.  Some  of  them  would  daub  their  faces  with  some- 
thing that  looked  like  dark  blue  clay,  and  then  would  make  zig- 
zag streaks  down  their  faces  with  their  fingers,  leaving  a  stripe 
of  clay  and, — well,  a  streak  of  Indian. 

The  squaws  seemed  to  take  great  pride  in  ornamenting  their 
head  and  hair.  They  usually  parted  their  hair  in  the  middle  of 
tlie  forehead,  plaited  it  in  two  braids,  and  tied  the  ends  firmly 
with  buckskin  strings,  on  which  were  strung  three  large  glass 
beads  at  the  end  of  each  string.  Then  they  painted  a  bright  red 
streak  over  the  head  where  the  hair  was  j)arted.  I  saw  one  squaw 
with  five  holes  in  the  rim  of  each  ear,  from  which  liung  five 
brass  chains  dangling  on  her  shoulders,  with  a  dollar  gold  piece 
fastened  to  each  chain. 

After  the  warriors  had  completed  the  work  of  painting  to 
their  liking,  they  gathered  in  small  squads,  seemingly  for  consul- 
tation. They  presented  a  very  frightful  appearance.  Soon  they 
began  to  gather  in  larger  parties  and  start  off  in  different  direc- 
tions, for  the  purpose,  as  I  supposed,  of  vietimiziug  some  innocent 
settler,  ilany  cattle  were  now  being  brought  into  camp,  but  no 
captives;  which  led  me  to  believe  that  they  massacred  indiscrim- 
inately men,  women,  and  children,  and  that  proved  to  have  been 
the  case.  The  squaws  seemed  at  all  times  to  be  highly  elated  over 
the  good  success  the  Indians  had  in  bringing  into  camp  beef  cat- 
tle; "ta-ton-koes, "  they  called  them.  They  were  also  well  pleased 
with  the  false  reports  which  the  Indians  made  in  stating  that 
they  had  killed  or  driven  nearly  all  the  white  people  from  'SUn- 
nesota. 

To  save  labor  iu  harvesting  and  hauling  corn  and  potators  into 
caitip,  we  made  many  short  moves  from  one  enclosure  to  another. 
Cattle,  horses  and  ponies,  were  turned  loose  in  the  fields  of  grain. 
As  soon  as  the  supply  was  exhausted,  we  moved  on.  At  tlu^  end 
of  one  remove,  I  saw  an  old  squaw  with  a  very  nice  black  silk 
shawl,  which  she  had  woim  over  her  head,  squaw-fashion,  while 
on  the  move  climb  over  a  rail  fence  and  throw  the  shawl  on  the 
ground  in  the  potato  field.  Then  with  all  her  might  she  com- 
menced digging  or  scratching  out  potatoes  with  her  hands,  throw- 
ing them  on  the  shawl  until  she  had  gathered  nearly  a  half 
bushel,  after  which  she  gatliered  up  the  corners  of  the  shawl, 
threw  them  over  her  shoulder,  and  hurried  away  to  the  eampfire. 

For  one  reason  we  were  always  glad  to  move ;  it  furnished 
us  a  clean  camp  ground  for  a  few  days.    But  oli !  tlie  thought  that 


210  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

I  was  a  prisoner  in  the  hands  of  savage  Indians,  moving  on  farth- 
er and  farther  from  rehitives,  fi'iends  and  civilization,  into  the 
far  Northwestern  wihls,  inhabited  only  by  cruel  savages  wlio 
lived  in  tepees,  and  cold  weather  coining  on  1  I  met  an  old 
Frenchman,  who  had  married  a  squaw  and  had  lived  with  the 
Indians  a  long  time.  He  could  speak  a  little  English.  Judge 
what  my  feelings  must  have  been  when  lie  said  to  me,  "I  'spect 
you'll  all  die  when  cold  weather  comes,''  meaning  the  white 
captives. 

Many  times  have  I  reluctantly  retired  for  the  night  on  the 
cold,  damp  ground,  with  my  child  on  my  arm,  unable  to  sleep, 
thinking  of  friends  and  home.  If  by  chance  my  eyes  were  closed 
in  sleep,  I  would  sometimes  dream  of  seeing  Indians  perpetrating 
some  act  of  cruelty  on  innocent  white  captives.  Occasionally  I 
would  dream  of  having  made  my  escape  from  my  captors,  and 
was  safe  among  my  relatives  and  friends  in  a  civilized  coixntry. 
But  on  awaking  from  my  slumbers,  oh !  the  anguish  of  mind,  the 
heart-crushing  pangs  of  grief,  to  again  fully  realize  tliat  I  was  a 
prisoner  still  among  the  Indians,  not  knowing  how  soon  I  would 
be  subjected  to  the  cruelties  of  these  revengeful  savages! 

In  order  to  make  myself  as  agreeable  as  possible  to  them,  I 
feigned  cheerfulness,  and  took  particular  notice  of  their  papooses, 
hoping  tliat  by  so  doing  I  would  receive  better  treatment  from 
them,  which  I  think  had  the  desired  effect.  Once  I  was  unable 
to  suppress  my  feelings  while  in  the  ])resence  of  my  Indian 
father,  who  was  quick  to  observe  my  gushing  tears  and  heart 
throbs,  which  must  have  excited  his  s.ympathy  for  me.  He  said, 
through  an  interpreter,  that  lie  would  give  me  bread  aud  let  me 
go;  "but,"  said  he,  "the  warriors  will  find  you  and  kill  you," — ■ 
as  much  as  to  say,  "You  had  better  remain  with  us."  This  was 
after  we  had  gone  so  far  from  white  settlements  that  it  would 
have  been  impossible  for  me  to  make  my  way  on  foot  and  alone 
through  the  Indian  countr.y. 

While  in  the  camp  beside  the  mossy  slough,  Little  Crow  and 
twenty  or  thirty  of  his  chief  warriors  had  a  war  council  and  dog 
feast.  They  occupied  a  place  on  the  prairie  a  short  distance  out- 
side of  the  camp  ground,  where  they  seated  themselves  on  the 
ground  in  a  circle  around  a  large  kettle,  hung  over  a  fire,  in 
which  the  carcass  of  a  fat  dog  was  being  boiled.  The  ITnited 
States  flag  was  gracefully  waving  over  their  detestable  heads. 
What  a  contrast  between  this  exhibition  of  hostile  Indians  and 
the  gathering  of  loyal  citizens  of  the  United  States  under  the 
stars  and  stripes,  celebrating  our  nation's  birthday! 

Tliese  dusky  savages  seemed  to  have  parliamentary  rules  of 
their  own.  One  would  rise,  with  solid  dignity,  and  deliver  liis 
harangue,  after  which  they  one  by  one  would  dip  their  ladles 
into  the   kettle  of  dog   soup,   until   each  had  served   himself  to 


HISTORY  OP  RKNVILLE  CorXTY  211 

soup.  Then  came  anotlier  speech  and  anotlier  dip  by  all.  Thus 
they  alternated  until  all  or  nearly  all  had  their  say  and  had  their 
aj)i)etite  satisfied  with  canine  souj).  Dog  soup  by  them  is  con- 
sidered to  be  a  superb  and  honored  dish.  None  but  Indians  of 
high  rank  were  allowed  to  partake. 

Dog  beef  was  sometimes  cooked  by  hanging  the  dog  in  a 
horizontal  position  by  both  fore  and  hind  legs  under  a  pole  over 
a  fire,  without  being  dressed,  except  that  the  entrails  were 
removed.  When  dogs  are  cooked  in  this  manner  all  are  allowed 
to  partake. 

These  natives  generally  used  their  fingers  in  conveying  food 
to  their  mouths.  If  their  meat  was  too  hard  to  crush  with  their 
teeth,  or  too  tough  to  tear  with  their  fingers  and  teeth,  they 
would  firmly  hold  the  meat  in  their  teeth  and  one  hand,  and, 
with  a  sharp  knife  in  the  other  hand,  cut  the  meat  between  the 
teeth  and  fingers. 

On  the  eighth  or  tenth  day  of  our  stay  here  the  word  "Pucka- 
cheel"  greeted  our  ears,  and  everything  was  soon  in  readiness 
for  a  move,  but  it  was  a  very  short  one.  We  stopped  beside  a 
small  stream  called  Hazel  Run.  Beside  this  stream  had  been 
built  residences  for  missionaries,  which  were  burned  to  the 
ground  soon  after  our  tepees  were  pitched. 

After  remaining  here  two  or  three  days,  we  were  given  orders 
as  before  to  move  on,  and  went  only  three  or  four  miles.  On  the 
way  we  passed  several  small  lakes,  and  our  train  was  stopped 
long  enough  near  one  of  them  to  allow  the  squaws  to  do  some 
washing.  This  was  the  first  washing  that  had  been  done  since 
my  stay  with  them.  The  squaws'  mode  of  washing  their  wardrobe 
was  to  walk  into  water  two  or  three  feet  deep,  then  quickly 
lower  and  raise  themselves,  and  at  the  same  time  rub  with  their 
hands.  Their  wet  clothing  was  allowed  to  remain  on  them  to 
dry.  The  squaws,  in  washing  their  faces,  would  take  water  in 
their  mouths,  spurt  it  into  their  hands  and  rub  it  over  their 
faces,  but  used  no  towel. 

Here  the  sqiuiws  began  to  |iay  mucli  attention  to  my  i)Oor 
starving  babe.  They  would  juit  their  hands  on  his  head  and  say, 
over  and  over,  "Washta,  waslita  do,"  meaning  "good,  very 
good."  When  \Vf  stopped  to  pitch  the  tepees  again  the  Indians 
had  wliat  tliey  called  a  horse  dance.  I  did  not  leai'n  whether 
it  celebrate(l  a  pai-tieular  event,  or  was  mei'ely  for  amusement. 
Before  tlie\-  commenced  it  they  decked  their  ponies  with  cedar 
boughs,  and  tiie  warriors  with  feathers  and  ribbons.  Then  each 
warrior  mounte<l  his  pony  and  jiaraded  around  in  a  nii-aningless 
manner,  as  it  seemed  to  me. 

Soon  aftef  tills  horse  dance  my  s(juaw  mother  came  to  me  in 
a  very  exeiteil  manner,  took  iiold  of  me  and  fairly  dragged  me 
into   the   tepee,   telling   me   that   the    Sissetons   were    coming   to 


212  HISTORY  OF  KEXVILLE  COUNTY 

take  me  off.  Slie  liastily  threw  an  old  blanket  over  me.  and 
there  I  remaineil  with  my  babe  in  my  arms  for  liours.  I  finally 
fell  asleep  and  must  liave  slept  quite  a  while.  Soon  after  wak- 
ing I  was  given  to  understand  that  I  might  go  out.  I  learned 
that  there  were  about  a  hundred  and  twenty-five  of  the  Sisseton 
tribe  with  us.  They  remained  three  days  and  left  camp,  taking 
nothing  but  a  few  ponies  with  them. 

While  in  this  camp  my  daughter  came  to  me,  crying  as 
though  her  heart  would  break,  and  told  me  an  Indian  was  coming 
that  night  to  claim  her  for  his  wife.  I  did  not  know  what  would 
be  best  to  do.  After  thinking  the  matter  over  I  concluded  to 
consult  with  a  half-breed  we  called  "Black  Eobinson"  in  regard 
to  the  trouble.  After  hearing  what  I  had  to  say  he  remarked, 
"An  Indian  is  nothing  but  a  hog,  anyway.  I  will  see  what  can 
be  done  about  it."  I  returned  and  told  my  daughter  what  he 
said,  and  she  returned  to  her  tepee  home,  leaving  me  to  worry 
over  the  great  danger  that  threatened  her.  Time  and  time  again 
I  thought,  "Will  this  terrible  calamity  that  has  come  to  us  ever 
end?     Fortunately  we  heard  no  more  of  this  trouble. 

"While  walking  out  one  afternoon  my  attention  was  called  to 
the  way  in  which  the  squaws  sometimes  put  their  papooses  to 
sleep.  They  were  fastened  on  a  board  about  eight  inches  wide, 
with  a  foot  rest,  and  ornamented  with  net  work  at  the  head, 
made  of  Avillow-twigs.  They  were  wrapped  to  the  board,  with 
their  arms  straight  down  by  their  sides  and  their  feet  on  the 
foot  rest,  by  winding  strips  of  cloth  around  them.  They  cry  and 
shake  their  heads  a  few  minutes  before  going  to  sleep.  In  warm 
weather,  unless  it  was  storming,  they  were  placed  outside  to 
sleep,  in  nearly  an  erect  position. 

The  Indians  and  squaws  had  rules  of  etiquette  which  they 
strictly  observed,  and  would  frequently  admonish  me  concern- 
ing them.  They  would  tell  me  how  to  sit  on  the  ground,  how  to 
stand  and  how  to  go  in  and  out  the  tepee  door,  which  was  very 
low.  I  think  they  must  have  considered  me  a  dull  scholar,  for 
I  could  not  conform,  or  would  not,  to  all  their  notions  of  gen- 
tility. The  Indians  would  frequently  have  a  hearty  laiigh  to 
see  me  go  in  and  out  the  tepee  door.  They  said  I  went  in  just 
like  a  frog.  The  tepees  were  of  uniform  size,  about  twelve  feet 
in  diameter  on  the  ground,  with  a  door  about  three  feet  high, 
that  is,  merely  a  parting  of  the  tent  cloth  or  hides,  of  which 
latter  the  tepees  were  usually  made. 

One  dark  and  dreary  rainy  day  I  was  put  into  a  tepee  made 
of  buffalo  hides.  The  perfume  of  the  hides  was  not  very  pleasant 
to  the  smell ;  however,  it  accorded  well  with  my  other  surround- 
ings. "Why  I  was  put  into  this  tepee  I  know  not,  unless  it  was 
to  be  entertained  by  a  Sioux  quartette.  I  had  only  been  in  there 
a  short  time  when   four  warriors  came  in,  dressed  in  blankets. 


HISTORY  OF  KKN\Jr.I.E  COUNTY  213 

with  their  faces  shockingly  painted  -with  war  paint  and  their 
heads  decorated  w'ith  long  feathers.  Surely  they  presented  a 
fearful  sight.  Each  had  a  stick  about  two  feet  long.  They  paid 
no  attention  to  rae,  but  seated  themselves,  Indian  style,  on  the 
ground  in  a  circle  in  front  of  me,  and  beat  time  by  striking  on 
the  ground  with  their  sticks,  at  the  same  time  singing,  or  saying, 
"Ki-o-wah-nay,  ki-o-wah-nay,  ki-o-wah-nay,  yaw-ah — ah."  After 
repeating  this  three  times  they  would  give  a  loud  whoop  and  a 
sharp  yell.  This  performance  was  continued  three  or  four  hours. 
There  was  no  variation  in  the  modulation  of  their  voices  during 
all  this  time.  The  horrors  of  this  experience  I  can  never  forget. 
It  seemed  as  though  my  reason  would  be  dethroned  under  this 
terrible,  monotonous  chant.  "When  they  stopped  and  iu  single 
file  walked  out  of  the  tepee  I  clasped  my  hand  to  my  wiiirling 
brain  and  wondered  if  a  more  drearj'  or  greater  mental  sui¥ering 
could  or  would  ever  befall  me. 

A  few  short  removes  now  brought  us  to  what  proved  to  be 
the  end  of  our  journey,  Camp  Eelease.  As  soon  as  the  tepees 
were  set  the  squaws  and  Indians  commenced  running  bullets. 
They  had  bar  lead,  bullet  moulds  and  a  ladle  to  melt  lead  in. 
They  also  had  a  large  amount  of  powder  which  they  had  plim- 
dered,  so  they  were  well  prepared  to  make  some  defense.  They 
gave  us  to  understand  that  thej'  expected  to  have  a  battle  in  a 
short  time  with  the  white  soldiers.  Also  they  gave  us  the  cheer- 
ing information  that,  if  the  white  soldiers  made  an  attack  on 
them,  we,  the  prisoners,  would  be  placed  in  front  of  them,  so  that 
our  rescuers'  bullets  would  strike  us  and  thereby  give  them  a 
chance  to  escape  in  case  of  their  defeat.  We  were  now  allowed 
to  visit  our  friends  a  little  while  every  day,  and  it  was  under- 
stood among  us  that  if  such  proved  to  be  the  ease  we  would  lie 
flat  on  the  ground  and  take  our  chances. 

The  expected  battle  was  fought  on  the  twenty-third  day  of 
September  at  Wood  Lake,  eighteen  miles  distant  from  our  camp, 
the  Indians  making  the  attack  on  General  Sibley's  forces.  A 
day  or  two  before  the  battle  there  was  a  disagreement  among 
the  Indians.  Some  of  them,  I  think,  were  in  favor  of  surrender- 
ing to  Sibley.  But  a  large  majority  were  opposed  to  it,  conse- 
quently a  removal  of  the  hostile  Indians  fai-ther  west  took  place ; 
how  far  I  did  not  know.  The  captives  they  had  were  nearly  all 
left  with  those  who  wished  to  surrender. 

We  could  distinctly  hear  the  report  of  muskets  during  this 
battle.  We  were  now  in  the  greatest  danger  of  all  our  captivity; 
for,  with  defeat  of  the  Indians,  they  were  likely  to  return  and 
slay  all  the  white  captives  and  perhaps  some  of  the  half-breeds. 
The  latter  appeared  to  be  somewhat  alarmed,  and  consequently 
we  were  all  put  to  work  by  "Black  Robinson,"  throwing  up 
breastworks.    I  was  not  a  soldier,  but  soldier  never  worked  with 


214  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

better  will  than  I  did  to  get  those  fortifications  completed.  I 
used  a  shovel:  my  squaw  mother  used  an  old  tin  pan.  The 
remains  of  those  breastworks  are  still  visible.  I  am  told.  When  I 
worked  on  them  I  liad  no  idea  that  I  should  ever  take  any  pride 
in  the  remembrance  of  my  labor  on  them,  but  I  do,  although  at 
the  time  I  felt  as  though  it  Avould  be  as  well  were  I  digging  my 
own  "narrow  house."'  We  cannot  afford  to  part  with  the  remem- 
brance of  any  incidents  of  our  lives,  even  though  they  were 
heavily  burdened  with  suffering  and  sorrow. 

We  were  also  made  to  construct  breastworks  inside  the  tepee. 
We  sank  a  hole  in  the  ground  about  eight  feet  in  diameter  and 
two  feet  deep,  and  placed  the  earth  around  the  pit,  thereby 
increasing  the  depth  to  about  four  feet.  In  this  den  eleven  of 
us  spent  three  nights.  While  the  battle  was  raging  tlie  squaws 
went  out  with  one-horse  wagons  to  take  ammunition  to  the  war- 
riors and  to  })ring  in  the  dead  and  wounded  Indians.  Once  when 
they  returned  one  squaw  was  giving  vent  to  her  feelings  by 
chanting,  or  singing,  "Y''ali!  lio  ho!"  On  making  inquiry  I  was 
told  that  her  husband  had  been  killed.  On  the  next  two  days 
after  the  battle  we  were  almost  constantly  looking  and  longing 
to  see  the  soldiers  make  their  appearance  on  the  distant  prairie. 
The  hostile  Indians  had  returned  to  their  camp  before  sunset 
on  the  day  of  the  battle,  and  it  was  evident.to  us  by  tlu'ir  appear- 
ance that  they  had  met  witli  defeat.  But  each  day  the  sun  went 
down,  night  came  on  and  our  expectation  and  ardent  desires  were 
not  realized.  Therefore  we  were  compelled  through  fear  once 
more  to  enter  our  own  tepee  and  the  dismal  hole  in  the  ground 
before  mentioned,  to  spend  the  night,  with  fearful  forebodings 
that  the  hostile  Sioux  might  return  and  kill  us  before  morning. 
Our  tepees  were  guarded  during  the  niglit  by  Indians  who  pre- 
tended to  be  friendly,  but  I  could  not  sleep. 

Morning  came  with  bright  sunshine  on  the  day  of  our  deliver- 
ance, the  twenty-sixth  of  September.  Being  so  anxious  to  be 
delivered  from  oi;r  present  surroundings,  we  could  not  I'cfrain 
from  gazing,  as  we  had  done  on  the  two  former  days,  nearly 
all  the  time  in  the  direction  of  the  battle  ground,  to  see  who 
should  get  the  first  view  of  our  expected  rescuers.  2\l)out  ten 
o'clock  in  the  morning,  to  our  great  joy  and  admiration,  the 
glimmer  of  the  soldiers'  bayonets  was  first  seen  and  pointed  out 
to  us  by  the  Indians,  before  we  could  see  the  men.  As  they  came 
nearer  and  nearer  our  liearts  beat  quicker  and  quicker  at  the 
increased  prospect  of  oui-  speedy  release. 

When  they  had  come  within  about  a  half  nule  of  our  camp 
the  Indians  sent  a  number  of  us  to  the  Minnesota  river  for  water, 
telling  us  the  palefaces  woidd  be  thirsty.  They  thouglit.  as  did 
the  captives,  that  the  soldiers  would  come  right  among  us  and 
camp  near  by,  but  they  marched  past  about  a  half  mile,  where 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  215 

tho}-  pitched  their  tents.  A  flag  of  truce  was  flying  over  every 
tepee.  After  the  soldiers  had  passed  by  some  of  the  Indians 
came  in  laughing,  saying  the  -vvhitc  soldiers  were  sueh  old  men 
that  they  had  lost  all  their  teeth.  They  had  an  idea  that  all  of 
our  young  men  were  engaged  in  our  civil  war.  The  papooses 
were  skirling  around  with  a  flag  of  truce,  shouting  "Sibilee, 
Sibilee!"  as  tliough  tliey  tliought  it  great  sport. 

While  the  soldiers  were  pitching  their  tents  the  general  sent 
orders  for  us  to  remain  in  the  tepees  until  he  came  for  us.  This 
was  a  very  hard  command  foi-  us  to  obey,  now  that  an  oppor- 
tunity came  for  us  to  flee  from  our  captors. 

The  tepees  were  set  in  a  circle.  After  about  one  and  a  half 
hours  General  Sibley  marched  his  command  inside  of  this  circle. 
The  general  now  held  a  consultation  with  some  of  the  Indians, 
after  which  the  soldiers  were  formed  into  a  hollow  square.  The 
captives  were  then  taken  into  this  square  by  the  Indian  who 
claimed  to  have  protected  them  during  their  captivity,  including 
also  those  captives  who  had  been  left  with  them  by  the  hostile 
Indians.  Some  had  only  one  or  two  to  deliver  up ;  others  had 
eight  or  ten.  Those  who  had  the  largest  number  to  deliver 
brought  them  forward  in  a  haughty  manner.  My  Indian  father 
had  seven  captives  to  give  up. 

After  all  the  white  captives  were  delivered  to  the  general  in 
military  style,  the  order  was  given  to  move  to  the  soldiers'  tents. 
I  am  sure  every  captive  there  offered  up  fervent  and  grateful 
thanksgiving  that  the  hour  of  release  had  come.  Right  well  did 
this  ('amp  Release  come  by  its  title.  I  believe  every  adult  cap- 
tive has  a  warm  place  in  her  memory  for  this  spot  of  prairie  land, 
where  so  many  destinies  hung  by  a  thread,  with  the  balance 
ready  to  go  for  or  against  us.  Every  Indian,  after  having  deliv- 
ered his  last  captive,  walked  directly  out  of  this  hollow  square, 
and  was  conducted  by  a  soldier  to  where  he,  I  supposed,  was 
kept   under  guard. 

This  giving  up  or  release  of  the  captives  was  one  of  the  most 
impressive  scenes  that  it  has  ever  been  my  lot  to  witness.  Many 
of  my  fellow  captives  were  shedding  tears  of  joy  as  they  were 
being  delivered  up.  After  reaching  the  tents  prepared  for  us 
many  commenced  laughing;  oh  such  joyful  peals  from  some,  and 
from  others  came  a  jerking,  hysterical  laugh.  Others  were 
rapidly  talking  and  gesticulating  with  friends  Avhom  they  had 
just  met,  as  if  fairly  insane  with  delight  in  meeting  relatives 
and  friends  and  to  be  freed  from  their  savage  captors.  And 
again  there  were  others  clapping  their  hands  and  whirling  around 
in  wild  delight  over  the  happy  good  fortune  that  had  come 
to  us. 

As  for  myself,  T  could  only  remain  silent,  as  if  an  inspiration 
had  eonie  to  me  from  the  great  beyond.    T  gazed  at  this  assembly 


216  HISTORY  OF  KEXVILLE  COUNTY 

of  released  captives  Avliile  in  their  manifestations  of  joy  and 
happiness,  tinctured  Avith  grief  from  the  loss  of  dear  friends  and 
relatives,  and  in  quiet  satisfaction  dreAV  the  fresh  free  air  into 
my  hmgs  and  thought  what  contentment  and  peace  freedom 
brings  to  one  Avho  had  been  a  cajitive  among  the  Avild  savages  of 
the  Northwest.  None  but  those  who  have  passed  through  the 
terrible  experience  can  ever  know  the  varied  feelings  and  emotion 
which  the  deliverance  produced. 

We  still  wore  our  squaw  suits.  Some  of  us  were  given  quar- 
ters in  what  were  called  or  knoAvu  as  Sibley  tents,  and  others  in 
smaller  tents.  It  Avas  noAv  about  four  o'clock  in  the  afternoon, 
and  by  reason  of  our  not  having  had  dinner,  the  soldiers  treated 
lis  to  a  lunch,  consisting  of  light  biscuit  and  apple  sauce.  It  Avas 
not  serA'ed  after  modern  style.  We  simply  gathered  around  tAVO 
large  dishpans  containing  our  lunch,  and  each  helped  herself. 
When  supi^er  time  came  the  soldiers  brought  into  our  tent,  pre- 
pared to  be  served,  an  abundance  of  rice,  hardtack,  coffee  and 
meat.  My  lunch  Avas  the  most  delicious  repast  I  ever  enjoyed, 
it  being  the  first  Avhite  cooking  I  had  tasted  since  I  ate  breakfast 
in  my  OAvn  home  the  day  I  Avas  captured ;  but  my  appetite  for 
supper  entirely  failed  me  in  consequence  of  having  had  the  late 
lunch,  and  because  of  the  excitement  produced  by  our  release. 
After  the  lirst  day  of  our  release  a  campfire  Avas  provided  us  and 
we  had  the  privilege  of  doing  our  oAvn  cooking.  A  guard  was 
placed  around  our  tents  and  campfire,  the  object,  I  suppose, 
being  to  keep  aAvay  all  Avould-be  intruders. 

My  mind  Avas  noAV  involuntarily  absorbed  in  the  strange 
sights  of  the  afternoon.  I  could  scarcely  think  a  moment  in 
regard  to  the  condition  or  AA'hereabouts  of  my  fanuly.  I  had 
not  learned  Avhether  they  all  succeeded  in  making  their  escape 
or  Avere  all  killed  and  scalped  by  the  Indians. 

We  remained  Avith  the  soldiers  ten  days  for  the  purpose  of 
giving  our  testimony  against  the  Indians.  The  soldiers  Avere 
very  kind  to  us,  being  ahvays  careful  to  provide  camj^fires  for  us, 
and  seemed  at  all  times  to  take  delight  in  making  us  feel  at  home, 
or  at  least  among  civilized  people.  Three  different  times  dur- 
ing our  stay  Avith  them  they  serenaded  us  Avith  songs.  As  the 
SAveet  sounds  of  civilization  greeted  my  ear  the  great  contrast 
betAveen  freedom  and  captivity  among  savages  grcAv  more  promi- 
nent. I  shall  alAvays  hold  these  l)rave  soldiers  in  most  grateful 
remembrance. 

In  the  forenoon  of  our  last  day  Avith  the  soldiers,  Mrs.  David 
Carrothers,  Mrs.  Earle  and  myself  Avere  out  consulting  with  a 
soldier  (Mrs.  Carrothers'  brother)  on  the  chances  or  prospect 
of  our  getting  to  St.  Peter.  After  having  talked  the  matter  over, 
and  Avhen  Ave  were  returning  to  our  tent,  I  caught  sight  of  my 
husband,  of  Avhom  I  had  not  knoAvn  Avhether  he  Avas  dead  or  alive, 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  217 

accompanied  li_\-  J.  \V.  Earle.  I  leave  you  to  imagine  our  feel- 
ings at  this  meeting,  -words  -would  be  inadequate. 

Mr.  Earle  and  my  husband,  having  learned  of  the  release  of 
thi'ir  families,  had  engaged  "William  Mills,  then  of  St.  Peter,  to 
go  with  a  four-horse  team  with  them  to  Camp  Release,  a  distance 
of  about  120  miles,  for  the  purpose  of  bringing  their  families  to 
St.  Peter.  They  arrived  at  Camp  Release  about  ten  o'clock  in 
the  forenoon  of  the  fifth  day  of  October.  Soon  after  dinner  -we 
started  -^vith  om-  husbands,  children  and  Mr.  Mills  for  St.  Peter, 
without  an  escort. 

Whether  or  not  our  husbands  were  proud  of  us  in  our  squaw 
dress  we  did  not  stop  to  question,  for  -we  -were  so  glad  to  get 
started  for  civilization  that  we  did  not  take  a  second  thought  to 
our  clothing,  but  rode  triumphantly  into  St.  Peter  in  squaw  cos- 
tume. Danger  was  thick  around  us  on  our  joui-nej'.  Conse- 
quently Mr.  Mills  hurried  his  team,  forded  the  Redwood  river 
soon  after  dark  in  the  same  place  where  -we  crossed  when  going 
west  with  the  Indians,  and  stopped  for  the  night  in  a  small 
Indian  log  hut. 

The  three  men  stood  on  guard  until  tAvo  o'clock,  when,  fear- 
ing the  presence  of  stray  Indians,  we  became  uneasy  and  con- 
cluded to  journey  on  in  the  night.  We  arrived  at  the  Lower 
Sioux  agency  about  sunrise,  or  where  the  village  and  the  agency 
buildings  had  been  located.  All  had  been  destroyed  by  fire.  Here 
we  visited  the  garden  that  had  belonged  to  Dr.  Humphrey,  M-ho 
was  killed,  and  also  all  the  members  of  his  family,  while  trying 
to  make  their  escape,  excepting  one  son.  We  found  some  onions 
and  tomatoes  and  boiled  a  few ;  with  the  government  rations  they 
made  quite  a  good  breakfast. 

While  there  I  could  almost  see  where  our  house  was  located 
on  Beaver  creek,  and  had  a  pretty  fair  view  of  the  prairie  over 
which  we  were  so  frightfully  chased  by  hostile  Sioux  Indians. 
The  sight  brought  back  vivid  remembrance  in  my  mind  of  .just 
what  transpired  there  on  the  eighteenth  day  of  August.  Before 
my  mental  eye  was  unrolled  a  panorama  of  fearful  deeds  per- 
petrated by  the  w-ild  men  of  the  Northwest,  shockingly  painted, 
and  having  their  heads  decorated  with  feathers  according  to  their 
rank ;  also  the  cruelties  committed  on  innocent  white  people  on 
that  memorable  day.  I  could  see  the  Indians  as  they  surrounded 
us  with  their  guns  presented  at  the  men,  demanding  of  them  a 
surrender  of  all  their  teams,  etc.,  to  them.  I  could  see  men, 
women,  boj's  and  girls  in  almost  every  direction  in  alarmed 
haste,  closely  pursued  by  Indians,  shooting  them.  I  could  see 
two  men  holding  up  a  flag  of  truce  over  a  w-agon  in  which  a  sick 
woman  and  her  two  children  lay  on  a  bed.  I  saw  again  the  blaze 
and  smoke  arising  from  the  burning  bed,  where  Mrs.  Henderson 
and  her  t-^vo  childi-en  were  put  to  death  in  a  shocking  manner. 


218  HISTOKY  OF  KEX\  ILLE  COUNTY 

I  saw  my  sou  as  he  passed  me  in  great  haste  when  he  said  to  me, 
"Ma,  run  faster,  or  they  will  catch  you."  Poor  boy;  his  remains 
were  never  found.  Tlien,  after  the  first  friglit  was  over,  and  the 
men  and  boys  and  their  pursuers  were  out  of  sight.  I  could  see 
myself  with  other  captives  walking  back  into  captivity  among 
a  barbarous  people,  escorted  by  our  cruel  captors. 

We  still  journeyed  on  the  south  side  of  the  Minnesota  river 
until  we  reached  the  ferpy  near  Fort  Kidgely,  where  we  crossed 
the  river,  arriving  at  the  fort  about  noon.  On  the  road  between 
the  agency  and  the  fort  we  saw  the  body  of  a  man  who  had 
recently  been  killed,  of  which  we  notitied  the  military  officials, 
who  soon  sent  a  burial  party. 

We  took  dinner  at  the  fort,  and  then  traveled  on  until  sunset, 
and  stopped  with  a  German  over  night.  I  think  this  Avas  the  first 
house  we  passed  where  people  lived.  During  the  night  rain  came 
down  in  torrents,  which  made  the  roads  very  bad.  Still  we 
traveled  on  in  the  morning,  and  arrived  at  St.  Peter  just  in  the 
shade  of  evening.  Tn  tlie  outskirts  of  the  village  we  were  halted 
by  the  picket's  "Who  goes  there?"  Our  answer  was  satisfac- 
tory, and  we  were  then  allowed  to  go  on,  and  at  nine  o'clock 
were  being  hospitably  entertained  by  a  Mrs.  Fisher.  Here  we 
exchanged  our  squaw  outfit  for  new  calico  dresses,  and  really 
began  to  feel  as  thougli  we  were  white  folks  again. 

My  babe's  weight  was  now  just  right  pounds,  and  he  was  a 
little  past  seven  months  old.  1  found  my  twelve-year-old  boy 
here  safe  and  well,  (hu-  family  was  now  all  together  excepting 
our  oldest  son,  whose  life  was  taken  to  satisfy  the  revenge  of  the 
Sioux  warrior.  My  mind  was  now  at  rest,  at  least  as  to  the 
whereabouts  of  my  family,  and  we  could  begin  to  plan  as  to  what 
we  should  do.  We  were  among  strangers  and  had  but  very  little 
money.  Our  horses,  cattle,  sheep,  farming  implements,  house- 
hold furniture,  etc..  to  the  value  of  nearly  three  thousand  dollars, 
had  been  all  taken  or  destro.ved  by  the  Indians. 

One  afternoon,  while  my  husband  and  I  were  conferring 
together  about  what  was  best  for  us  to  do,  we  were  agreeably 
surprised  by  meeting  an  old  neighbor  just  from  our  Wisconsin 
home,  who  had  volunteered  to  carry  financial  aid  to  us,  which 
had  beeu  donated  b.v  the  neighbors.  This  aid  was  gratefully 
received  and  was  a  surjirise  to  us.  We  now  could  buy  some  neces- 
sary articles  of  clothing  and  pay  our  fare  back  to  Wisconsin. 

After  remaining  in  St.  Peter  about  two  weeks  we  took  a 
steamboat  for  St.  Paul.  While  there,  at  the  Merchants'  Hotel, 
a  gentleman  (a  stranger  to  tis)  called  to  talk  with  Mrs.  Earle 
and  myself  about  our  captivity.  After  a  short  conversation  he 
excused  himself  for  a  few  minutes,  and  on  his  return  gave  each 
of  us  fifteen  dollars.  The  landlady  was  very  kind  to  us,  and  gave 
me   many   useful   articles   of  clothing,   which,   as  we   were   very 


IITSTOKY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  219 

destitute,  were  more  tliau  acceptable.  We  remained  in  St.  Paul 
three  or  four  days  waiting  for  a  boat  to  take  us  to  La  Crosse. 
There  were  no  charges  made  against  us  for  the  hotel  bill. 

It  was  near  the  middle  of  November  when  we  took  the  boat 
for  La  Crosse,  where  we  arrived  at  noon.  Here  we  went  aboard 
the  ears  for  our  old  home  in  Columbia  county,  Wisconsin.  On 
our  arrival  at  the  depot  at  Pardeeville  the  platform  was  thronged 
■with  relatives  and  friends  to  greet  us  as  restored  to  them  from 
a  worse  fate  than  death. 

We  remained  tliere  until  the  following  March,  when  we 
returned  to  Rochester,  Minnesota.  The  Indians  having  been  sub- 
dued and  peace  restored,  we  ventured  back  in  the  fall  of  186;i  to 
our  Renville  county  home,  from  which  we  were  so  suddenly 
driven  by  the  Indians,  and  we  liave  ever  since  continued  to  live 
in  this  county. 


CHAPTER  XV. 
EARLE'S  REMINISCENCES. 

Thrilling  experiences  of  a  Boy  During  the  Sioux  Massacre — 
Beaver  Creek  Settlement — Pioneer  Incidents— Trouble  Brew- 
ing—Warned by  Squaw— News  of  the  Massacre — Flight  for 
Safety— Surrounded  by  Indians— Woman,  Children  and 
Friend  Killed— Women,  Children  and  Wounded  Abandoned 
by  Whites— Brave  Boy  Gives  Life  for  His  Father— Party 
Separates — Rescue — Defense  of  Ft.  Ridgely — Cowardice  of 
Some  of  the  Citizens — Valor  of  Others — Expedition  to  Bury 
Bodies — Battle  of  Birch  Cooley — Discharged. 

At  the  outl)reak  of  the  Sioux  Indians  in  IMiiinesota  in  1862, 
the  settlement  on  the  Beaver  creek,  Renville  county,  besides  my 
father's,  Jonathan  W.  Earle's  family,  consisted,  .so  far  as  I  know, 
of  Diedrieli  Wiehmann  and  family.  Frank  W.  Seliiiiidt  and  family, 
Mr.  and  :\Irs.  N.  I).  White  and  family.  S.  R.  Henderson,  wife  and 
two  little  girls  about  one  and  three  years  old;  David  Carrothers 
and  wife  and  two  children,  David  (Andrew  ?)  Hunter,  and  a 
young  man  named  John  Doyle. 

The  Beaver  creek,  like  all  olhcr  water  courses  in  ^linnesota, 
runs  in  a  valley  much  lower  than  the  prairie  land,  the  bottoms 
and  sides  of  the  bluffs  being  quite  thickly  timlxTi'd.     The  course 
is  about  north  and  south  and  the  creek  empties  into  the  Minne-, 
sota  river  about  two  miles,  from  our  location. 

About  three  miles  ea.st  from  Beaver  creek  is  the  Birch  Cooley 
creek  and  still  farther  east,  about  eighteen  miles  distant,  was 
Fort  Ridgely.    West  of  Beaver  creek,  about  two  and  one-half  or 


220  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COT-XTY 

three  miles,  is  another  creek,  emptying  into  the  Minnesota  river, 
on  Miiich  was  a  settlement  of  Swedes  (Germans  ?).  The  Red- 
wood Agency  was  distant  about  six  miles  and  was  in  plain  view 
from  onr  house.  At  the  agency  were  stores,  hlacksmitli  shop, 
saw  mill  and  so  forth.  The  government  maintained  a  physician, 
who  treated  the  Indians  and  furnished  medicines  to  them  with- 
out cost,  a  head  farmer  to  teach  them  how  to  conduct  a  farm, 
a  sawyer,  school  teachers  and  so  forth.  Avith  Avhom  I  became 
acquainted  later.  The  missionary,  a  Mr.  Williamson,  whose 
father  had  also  spent  a  lifetime  as  missionary  among  the  Indians, 
was  born  and  reared  there  and  lived  near  the  agency. 

Of  course  the  greatest  need  after  reaching  the  settlement  was 
a  house,  and  father  lost  no  time  in  procuring  lumber  at  the 
agency  in  exchange  for  a  cow.  The  lumber  was  eottonwood  and 
green,  but  it  answered  the  need  as  frame  and  covering  boards. 
As  soon  as  it  Avas  enclosed,  even  before  it  was  shingled,  we  moved 
into  the  new  house,  which  consisted  of  two  rooms,  one  down- 
stairs and  one  upstairs. 

We  broke  several  acres  of  ground  and  planted  it  to  corn,  not 
expecting  any  crop  except  stalks  which  would  serve  as  fodder 
for  cattle  during  the  winter.  Father  also  went  to  St.  Peter,  sixty 
miles,  and  purchased  a  mowing  machine,  with  which  I  began  hay- 
ing. The  country  has  numerous  swales  or  low,  wet  places,  some 
of  them  having  water  three  or  four  feet  deep  in  the  center.  The 
ordinary  i)rairie  grass  Avas  not  tall  enough  for  hay.  but  around 
the  borders  of  the  swales  Avhere  the  ground  was  damp  the  grass 
grcAV  to  a  good  height,  and  farther  in  the  swale  was  coA'cred  Avith 
cat-tail  and  other  flag  higher  than  a  man's  head.  It  Avas  in  the 
grass  about  these  swales  that  I  began  the  Avork  of  making  hay  for 
Avinter,  and  must  have  secured  thirty  or  forty  tons  before  being 
obliged  to  abandon  it. 

The  cattle  and  sheep  ran  at  large  during  the  day,  but  Avere 
driven  home  and  kept  in  yards  enclosed  by  rail  fence  at  night. 
The  horses  were  always  turned  loose  Avhen  not  at  work,  and 
they  Avitli  others  belonging  to  the  other  settlers  formed  a  herd 
of  about  twenty,  Avhich  ahvays  ran  free  day  and  night,  unless 
at  Avork. 

On  Sundays  there  was  generally,  or,  at  least,  frequently, 
preaching  by  the  missionary,  Mr.  Williamson,  the  ch\n-ch  being 
Mr.  Henderson's  front  yard.  The  pulpit  Avas  wholly  imaginary, 
and  for  pews  we  used  chairs,  boxes,  blocks  of  wood,  or,  Avlien 
all  else  failed,  the  ground.  The  music  Avas  congregational. 
,  Father  was  a  poAverful  bass  singer  and  played  the  soprano  on  the 
violin.  Mr.  Williamson  also  sang,  and  if  I  remember  rightly 
Mrs.  Henderson  had  a  SAveet  soprano  voice.  While  the  singing 
Avas  not  the  best  it  certainly  was  not  the  Avorst  I  ever  heard. 

The  six  Avorking  days  of  the  week  Avere  all  busy  ones  for  us 


IIlsToliV   OK   liKWlLLK  CorXTV  221 

and  evening  generallj'  found  us  tired.  Still  wu  three  older  boj'S 
with  our  violins  and  sometimes  Julia  to  play  an  aet-ompaniment 
on  the  nit'lodeou  Avould  furnish  what,  for  those  times,  was  pretty 
good  music.  Not  one  of  us  deserved  to  b(^  called  a  violinist,  but 
we  certainly  were  fiddlers,  and  in  this  capacity  we  spent  nearly 
every  everiiuf^  until  bedtime. 

The  sight  of  Indians  was  no  more  uncoiiinion  than  that  of 
whites,  for  they  visited  us  every  day  in  pairs  and  groups,  and  the 
l)i'iiirie  was  dotted  here  and  there  with  parties  hunting  a  bulbous 
root,  M-hieh  they  called  "teepson,'"  and  used  for  food.  It  was 
called  wild  turnip  by  the  whites.  The  ])lant  was  but  a  few 
inches  liigh  and  had  but  one  slender,  straight  root,  which 
extended  into  the  gi'oinid  three  or  foui-  inelies,  where  the  bulb 
was  formed,  ami  below  this  was  tlie  tap  root  and  perhaps  other 
smaller  roots.  The  bulb  was  from  one  to  tAvo  and  one-half  or 
tlu-fc  inches  long  and  the  largest  were  perhaps  one  and  one- 
half  inches  in  diameter.  It  was  enclosed  in  a  rind  much  like 
that  of  tlie  turnip,  wliieli,  when  peeled  off,  left  the  bulb  white 
and  firm,  with  no  particular  flavor,  if  I  remember  rightly.  If 
li'ft  to  dry,  in  a  few  days  the  pul]>  became  almost  as  hard  as  bone. 
1  have  dug  and  eaten  many  of  these  bulbs  fresh  and  raw,  and 
always  imagined  that  they  would  be  cjuite  agreeable  if  ground 
up  and  used  to  thicken  a  soup  or  stew. 

The  Indians  dug  them  by  means  of  sapling  two  and  one-half 
or  three  inches  in  diameter  and  four  or  five  feet  long.  This  was 
sharpened  at  one  end,  the  sharpening  being  all  done  on  one  side, 
giving  the  stick  a  sled-i-unner  shape.  To  use  it  the  Indian  would 
strike  tlie  shai-pened  end  into  the  ground  two  or  three  inches 
from  the  plant,  withdrawing  and  striking  again  in  the  same 
place,  Tuitil  with  two  or  three  strokes  the  point  of  the  stick  was 
forced  inider  the  bulb,  when,  by  pressing  the  top  end  of  the  stick 
down,  the  bulb  was  brought  to  the  surface. 

The  annual  annuities  were  due  in  June,  but  owing  to  the  diffi- 
culty in  procuring  gold  or  silver  they  had  not  yet  been  paid,  and 
the  Indians  were  all  collected  at  the  agency  awaiting  the  day  of 
payment.  They  were  not  well  supplied  with  provisions,  so  were 
obliged  to  hunt  such  small  game  and  birds  as  the  country 
afforded,  dig  teepson,  fish,  and  when  able  to  buy  beef  cattle  from 
the  settlers,  leaving  their  guns  in  pawn  as  security.  So  our 
visitors  were  numerous.  As  I  had  quite  a  fancy  to  be  able  to 
talk  their  language  I  improved  every  opportunity  for  learning 
it.  I\Iany  of  them  seemed  to  understand  my  desire  and  were 
willing  to  help  me,  so  that  in  tjie  few  weeks  we  were  there  I 
aeqxiired  the  language  sufficiently  well  to  be  able  to  comprehend 
them  when  they  talked  to  me  and  make  myself  understood,  but 
when  they  talked  to  each  other  it  was  almost  impossible  for  me 
to  understand. 


222  HISTORY  OF  KEXVILLE  COT'XTY 

Father  sold  two  head  of  eattle  to  them.  For  the  first  one  he 
received  two  double-barreled  shotguns  as  security,  and  for  the 
second  the  gun  of  the  head  chief,  Little  Crow.  This  sale  was 
made  on  Friday,  August  15,  only  three  days  before  the  outbreak. 
Little  Crow,  with  quite  a  party  of  Lidians  and  accompanied  by 
3Ir.  Robertson,  a  one-eighth  breed,  as  interpreter,  came  and 
selected  the  steer,  agreed  to  the  price  asked,  and  offered  two 
guns  belonging  to  his  Indians  as  security.  But  father  demanded 
Little  Crow's  own  gun,  a  double-barreled  shotgun  with  a  yellow 
stock.  I  heard  afterwards  that  the  oi-igiual  stock  had  been 
broken  and  this  one  was  the  work  of  an  Indian,  who  had  painted 
it  a  bright  yellow.  It  was  a  splendid  gun  and  was  reluctantly 
left  as  a  pa^vn,  and  not  until  after  father  had  written  out  and 
signed  an  agreement  for  its  return  on  receiving  the  stated  sum 
of  money.  (Mrs.  White  tells  a  different  story  of  the  gun.  It  will 
be  foTind  in  the  chapter  devoted  to  her  experiences. — Ed.) 

Little  Crow  was  the  leading  or  head  chief  of  the  Sioux.  He 
was  tall,  spare,  with  a  nose  like  a  hawk's  bill,  and  sharp,  piercing, 
black  eyes.  He  was  by  no  means  good  looking.  He  was  known 
as  the  orator  of  the  Sioux  and  had  unbounded  influence  over  the 
Indians,  who  always  appeared  very  deferential  to  him.  Little 
Crow's  wrists  were  both  very  m^ich  deformed.  It  was  this  fact 
that  enabled  a  hunter  afterward  to  identify  this  body. 

There  was  an  old  Indian  who  seemed  particularly  good- 
natured,  M'ho  visited  us  often,  and  with  less  than  the  usual  reserve 
in  his  manner.  Consequently  we  had  a  particular  liking  for  him. 
He  was  called  old  Beaver  Creek.  I  never  learned  what  his  real 
name  was. 

So  the  few  weeks  of  our  stay  passed  rapidly  and  pleasantly 
away.  No  disturbing  incident  occurred  except  the  severe  sick- 
ness of  ]\Irs.  Henderson,  which  must  have  begun  about  August  1. 
Father  had  quite  a  knowledge  of  medicines  and  had  taken  along 
a  good  supply  of  medicine  for  family  use,  not  expecting  to  be 
called  on  to  treat  anj^  others.  But  as  there  was  no  physician 
within  a  good  many  miles,  except  the  government  physician, 
Dr.  Humphrey,  at  the  agency,  Mr.  Henderson  asked  father  to 
treat  his  wife,  which  father  consented  to  do,  but  the  case  rapidly 
became  dangerous,  so  father  requested  that  Dr.  Humphrey  be 
called  in  consultation.  This  was  done  and  he  came.  By  appoint- 
ment he  was  to  visit  her  again  on  Monday,  August  18.  The  day 
came,  but  the  physician  did  not  see  his  patient.  It  was  the  last 
daj^  on  earth  for  them  both. 

Sunday  evening,  August  17,  we  boys  played  unusually  late 
in  the  evening  and  our  music  seemed  better  than  ever.  Just 
before  retiring  Radnor  stepped  to  the  door  for  a  moment,  and, 
after  listening,  said,  "How  plainly  we  hear  the  Indian  drums." 
Chalon  and  I  went  to  the  door  and  distinctlv  heard  them.     This 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  223 

was  something  unusual,  yet  it  did  not  disturb  us.  And  so  we 
went  to  bed  and  to  sleep. 

The  next  morning,  Monday,  tlie  eighteenth,  father  rose  very 
early  ami  went  on  the  roof  to  iinish  shingling.  On  going  out  he 
noticed  three  Indiiius  in  a  fence  corner  of  the  cow  yard.  This 
was  very  strange,  yet  it  excited  no  fear.  When  called  to  break- 
fast father  came  down  from  the  roof  and,  out  of  curiosity,  went 
to  the  Indians  and  asked  them  why  they  were  there.  They  told 
him  something  about  Chippewa  Indians,  but  he  learned  but  little 
from  them,  so  came  in  and  we  sat  down  to  breakfast.  While  we 
were  eating  one  of  tlu;  Indians,  a  magniticent  specimen,  over  six 
feet  tall,  came  in  dressed  in  a  breech  cloth  and  covered  with  war 
])aint.  He  asked  t'alliei'  lor  our  two  rifles,  which,  of  course,  were 
refused.  They  hung  by  straps  to  the  joists  over  head  and  a 
bed  stood  directh'  below  them.  Tlie  Indian  seemed  determined 
to  have  them  and  stepped  on  tlie  bed  as  though  he  were  going 
to  reach  the  rifles.  At  that  father  rose  and  said  "No"  witli  a 
decided  shake  of  his  head  and  a  look  in  his  eyes  which  convinced 
the  Indian  that  father  meant  all  that  he  said.  The  Indian  turned 
about  and  left  the  house,  apparently  much  excited   and  angry. 

After  breakfast  we  noticed  several  Indians  trying  to  catch 
the  herd  of  horses,  but  they,  being  afraid  of  the  Indians,  wouldn't 
be  caught.  Father  went  to  the  three  Indians  and  asked  why  the 
other  Indians  were  trying  to  catch  our  horses.  They  replied  that 
some  Chippewa  Indians  had  killed  some  Sioux  the  night  before 
and  they  wanted  the  horses  to  pursue  them.  Then  father  told  the 
boys  to  go  and  find  our  horses  and  bi'iug  them  home.  Accord- 
ingly Chalon  and  Radnor  went  east,  thinking  to  find  them  on 
the  prairie,  where  they  usually  were,  while  I  went  down  the  creek. 

At  Hunter's  I  found  that  the  Indians  had  driven  the  horses 
into  a  corner  formed  by  a  yard  fence  and  a  field  fence.  The 
Indians  had  formed  a  line  across  the  opening  and  by  gradually 
closing  in  hoped  to  capture  the  horses.  I  saw  at  once  that  our 
horses  were  not  in  the  herd,  so  I  was  somewhat  disinterested,  but 
concluded  to  watch  the  proceedings.  As  the  Indians  closed  in 
the  horses  became  frightened,  and  finally  one  bolder  than  the 
rest  made  a  dash  and  went  through  the  line,  followed  by  all  the 
others.  The  Indians  immediately  went  after  them  and  soon  had 
them  back  in  the  same  corner,  using  the  same  tactics  with  the 
same  result.  Again  they  brought  them  in.  This  time  they  asked 
me  to  catch  the  horses  for  them.  1  said  they  were  not  mine  and 
I  couldn't  catch  tliem.  They  then  asked  me  to  get  in  the  line 
with  them  and  help  catch  them.  At  first  I  refused,  but  thinking 
that  if  I  were  in  the  line  the  horses  would  be  apt  to  break 
towards  me  I  changed  my  mind  and  took  my  place  about  the 
middle  of  the  line.  As  I  expected,  when  the  horses  turned  they 
made  directly  for  me,  while  I,  shouting  and  wildly  pawing  the 


224  IIISTOKY  OF  RENVILLE  (JOrXTV 

air,  preteuded  to  do  all  I  eould  to  stop  them,  but  was  really  very 
earehil  not  to  do  so.  I  had  done  this  twice,  and  while  watcliiug 
the  Indians  out  on  the  prairie  after  the  herd,  congratulated 
myself  on  the  success  of  my  scheme,  believing  that  I  would  be 
able  to  continue  it  and  so  entirely  prevent  the  Indians  from  catch- 
ing the  horses. 

"While  thus  watching  the  chase,  an  old  squaw  came  near  and 
passed  behind  me  but  did  not  appear  to  see  me,  but  she  said  in 
a  low  voice  "puekashee  tehan"  (go  away,  or  go  far  off).  I 
turned  to  look  at  her,  but  she  was  watching  the  Indians  so  I  said 
nothing,  thinking  she  liad  discovered  my  trick  and  wished  to  get 
me  away  before  the  horses  could  be  brought  back.  However.  I 
resolved  to  stay  and  did,  with  the  same  result.  I  was  again 
watching  the  pursuit  when  the  same  big  Indian  who  liad  eutered 
our  house  and  asked  for  the  rifles  stepped  up  and  put  liis  left 
arm  about  my  neck  and  hugged  me  hard,  saying  that  he  would 
like  to  scalp  me  and  guessed  he  would  before  night.  At  tlie  same 
time  he  struck  me  over  the  head  with  his  lariat.  Tliis  treatment 
was  entirely  luiexpeeted  and  resented,  for  as  his  left  arm  was 
aromid  my  neck  liis  ribs  on  that  side  were  fully  exposed,  and  I 
gave  liim  so  strong  a  puncli  with  my  right  fist  tlmt  lie  emitteu  a 
very  loud  grunt  and  immediately  let  go  and  walked  off. 

I  had  caught  a  glimpse  of  old  Beaver  Creek,  who  was  the 
only  one  that  I  knew.  I  tliought  that  surely  he  would  exjilain 
the  strange  doings,  but  he  refused  to  say  a  word  to  me.  When  I 
approached  him  he  hastily  turned  away  and  seemed  greatly 
excited.  Still  my  suspicions  were  not  aroused,  for  I  thought  all 
these  strange  acts  were  because  of  the  Chippewa  raid.  I  did  not 
dream  of  any  dauger  to  the  whites. 

Believing  that  my  little  scheme  had  been  discovered,  and  that 
I  would  not  be  allowed  to  practice  it  any  further,  and  knowing 
that  our  horses  Avere  not  in  the  drove,  I  made  up  my  mind  to  go 
home.  So  I  started  on  a  lope,  which  was  my  usual  gait  when 
alone.  Instead  of  taking  tlie  road  wliieli  was  on  the  prairie.  I 
went  a  little  farther  and  entered  the  bushes,  Avhich  was  the 
beginning  of  the  timber  of  the  bluff's.  Tlie  bushes  were  not 
thick  and  I  eould  run  tlirough  tliem  as  easily  as  in  the  road. 
Why  I  went  into  the  bushes  I  really  do  not  know,  for  I  was  not 
in  the  least  frightened  or  excited.  I  had  heard  nothing  alarm- 
ing and  the  little  episode  with  the  Indian  was  trivial.  I  simply 
obeyed  a  sudden  impulse.  Probably  it  was  very  fortunate  that 
I  did,  for  afterwards  I  remembered  hearing  several  times  the  hiss 
and  swish  that  ■\vo\ild  be  caused  by  an  arrow  cutting  tlie  leaves. 

I  was  home  in  a  few  minutes.  Chalou  and  Radnor  had 
returned  with  our  horses,  which  were  then  secured  about  the 
house.  I  told  father  what  was  going  on  down  at  Hunter's,  and 
said  the  Indians  seemed  determined  to  have  tlie  horses.    He  said 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  225 

they  wouldn't  get  his  without  a  fight,  so  I  proposed  that  we  take 
them  to  the  agency  and  put  them  in  charge  of  the  agent.  He 
considered  a  moment  and  then  said  that  we  might  take  them 
out  on  the  prairie,  where  we  could  keep  them  away  from  the 
Indians.  We  had  seven  horses  and  colts,  and  if  one  or  two  were 
mounted  the  others  would  follow,  so  Chalon  and  I  were  to  take 
them  out. 

Chalon  had  something  to  do  that  delayed  him  a  few  minutes, 
but  as  soon  as  I  had  mounted  I  started  eastward  on  the  open 
pl-airie.  Within  a  few  minutes  I  saw  a  man  in  his  shirt  sleeves 
running  towards  our  settlement  from  the  direction  of  the  agency. 
I  rode  up  and  found  liim  greatly  excited,  saying  that  the  Indians 
were  killing  all  the  whites  at  the  agency  and  that  we  must  get 
away  right  off.  It  was  our  neighbor  Diedrieh  Wichmann.  He 
continued  towards  his  house  Mhile  I  turned  and,  putting  my 
horse  to  a  run,  started  for  home. 

In  a  few  moments  I  met  Chalon  mounted  on  a  fleet  little  mare. 
I  briefly  told  him  what  I  had  heard  as  he  rode  along  with  me. 
As  soon  as  he  comprehended  the  situation  he  gave  the  word  to 
his  little  mare,  who  seemed  fairly  to  fly  as  she  bore  him  home 
and  past  the  house  without  stopping.  On  down  to  the  creek  he 
went,  giving  the  alarm  to  Dave  Carrothers'  and  telling  them  to 
go  to  our  house,  then  to  James  Carrothers'  with  the  same  word. 
Hunter  was  not  at  home,  so  he  went  no  farther.  James  Car- 
rothers and  N.  D.  White  had  a  few  days  before  been  selected  as 
delegates  to  a  political  convention  which  met,  I  think,  at 
Owatonna.  Consequently  both  were  absent.  (Mrs.  White  gives 
another  reason  for  this  absence. — Ed.)  Some  one  carried  the 
word  to  Mr.  White's  people  and  father  went  to  Henderson's. 
Soon  all  were  collected  at  our  house.  The  seats  were  removed 
from  the  spring  wagon  and  two  feather  beds  placed  in  the  bot- 
tom, on  which  Mrs.  Henderson  was  laid  and  her  two  little  girls 
with  her.  The  horses  were  hitched  to  one  lumber  wagon  and 
two  yoke  of  oxen  attached  to  the  other.  Into  these  two  wagons 
the  women  and  children  climbed  and  made  themselves  as  com- 
fortable as  possible. 

While  these  preparations  were  being  made  I  was  busy  load- 
ing the  guns.  The  whole  stock  of  arms  consisted  of  two  rifles 
and  three  double-barreled  shotguns,  which  father  lield  in  pawn 
for  cattle  sold  to  the  Indians.  Of  course,  they  were  all  muzzle 
loaders.  I  have  often  wondered  what  would  have  been  the  out- 
come if  we  had  had  Winchesters.  One  rifle  carried  about  sixty 
to  the  pound,  but  the  other  was  a  very  small  bore,  carrying  120 
to  the  pound.  Both  of  these  I  loaded  carefully  and,  because  of 
the  small  bore  of  one,  I  put  in  two  bullets.  Next  I  loaded  Little 
Crow's  gun  and  one  of  the  others,  but  for  the  third  I  had  no  shot 
so  put  in  a  few  small  stones.    Our  shot  and  bullets  were  all  gone, 


226  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

aud  only  one  flask  of  powder,  partly  filled,  remained.  This  shows 
how  utterly  defenseless  we  were. 

All  being  readj*  to  start  (we  intended  going  to  Fort  Ridgely, 
eighteen  miles  di-stant),  David  Carrothers  took  the  larger  rifle, 
father  took  the  small  bore  (loaded  with  two  bullets),  Chalon 
took  Little  Crow's  gun,  I  took  another,  and  Radnor  took  the  one 
loaded  with  small  stones.  We  started  due  east  in  the  direction 
of  Fort  Ridgely. 

At  the  time  of  starting  our  party  consisted  of  twenty-seven  per- 
sons, men,  women,  children  and  two  babes  in  arms,  as  follows: 
Father  and  mother  and  six  children,  S.  R.  Henderson  and  wife 
and  two  children,  Mrs.  N.  D.  White  and  four  children,  Dave 
Carrothers.  wife  and  three  children ;  Mrs.  James  Carrothers  and 
two  children,  Jehial  Wedge  and  John  Doyle. 

Within  five  minutes  after  starting  we  noticed  sixteen  Indians 
who  suddenly  rose  to  view  about  eighty  rods  southeast  from  us, 
and  coming  in  a  direction  to  cross  our  road  a  little  ahead  of  us. 
At  the  same  time  I  looked  back  and  saw  the  three  Indians  who 
had  been  about  our  house  fall  in  behind  us.  A^ery  quickly  the 
Indians  had  formed  a  line  across  our  road,  and  gradually  drawn 
in  until  we  were  entirely  surrounded.  When  the  leader  made 
a  sign  for  us  to  stop  we  did  so.  Mr.  Henderson,  who  under- 
stood their  language  better  than  the  rest  of  us,  went  forward  to 
talk  with  the  chief.  We  saw  by  signs  and  gestures  that  he  was 
holding  a  very  earnest  council  with  them,  which  occui)ied  about 
ten  minutes.  When  he  returned  to  us  tlie  Indians  maintained 
their  circle  around  us,  though  hardly  any  were  visible,  as  they 
had  concealed  themselves  in  various  ways.  On  his  return  Mr. 
Henderson  told  us  that  the  Indians  had  at  first  told  him  that  they 
intended  to  kill  all  of  us,  but  after  talking  they  offered  to  let 
us  pass  if  we  would  give  up  all  our  teams  and  guns.  Mr.  Hen- 
derson told  them  that  we  would  not  give  up  our  guns  under  any 
circumstances,  and  to  this  firm  decision  is  due  the  fact  that  any 
of  us  escaped,  for  with  us  totally  disarmed  they  would  have  slain 
all  without  any  danger  to  themselves.  'Sir.  Henderson  also 
demanded  to  keep  the  colts  and  spring  wagon,  in  which  his  wife 
was  lying,  and  they  also  consented  to  this.  It  seemed  that  this 
was  the  best  we  could  do,  for  we  had  only  five  guns  against  their 
nineteen  guns,  and  three  of  ours  loaded  with  shot  aud  stones, 
while  theirs  were  all  loaded  with  balls.  And  more  than  all,  we 
had  no  ammunition  to  reload  our  guns.  What  better  could  we 
do?  And  besides,  Mr.  Henderson  said  that  they  had  agreed  to 
furnish  us  an  escort  to  the  fort,  so  that  no  other  Indians  should 
molest  us.  So  the  terms  were  accepted  and  Mr.  Henderson  gave 
the  signal,  whereupon  the  Indians  came  to  claim  their  property. 
The  women  and  children  descended  from  the  wagons  which,  with 
the    teams,    we   turned    over   to    the    Indians,    who    immediately 


HISTORY  OF  EEWILLE  CO  IN  TV  227 

detached  them  and  then  demanded  the  colts.  Mr.  Henderson 
protested  and  reminded  them  of  the  agreement.  But  they  only 
said  he  could  have  a  yoke  of  oxen.  He  tried  to  show  them  that 
he  could  not  use  the  oxen  because  the  iron  neck  yoke  was  bolted 
to  the  end  of  the  buggj-  pole  so  that  the  pole  could  not  enter  the 
yoke  ring.  This  made  no  difference.  They  said  they  intended 
to  have  the  colts  anj'way,  so  we  proceeded  to  unhitch  the  colts 
and  give  them  up. 

In  the  meantime  the  women  and  children  had  started  on  and 
had  gained  quite  a  distance  on  the  way.  After  giving  up  the 
colts,  Dave  Carrothers  went  to  get  a  yoke  of  oxen  which  stood 
eight  or  ten  rods  away.  As  he  went  he  broke  down  a  weed  and 
on  reaching  them  he  swung  the  weed  over  their  heads  in  place 
of  a  Avhip  and  started  towards  us  with  the  oxen.  Just  then  an 
Indian  stepped  out,  placed  an  arrow  to  his  bow,  and  raised  it 
threateningly  at  Carrothers,  who  saw  the  threat,  left  the  oxen 
and  came  back  to  us.  The  Indians  were  standing  about  inter- 
mingled with  us,  their  guns  ready  and  both  barrels  at  full  cock. 
One  unfortunate  move  on  the  part  of  any  one  of  us  would  have 
resulted  in  the  instant  death  of  all.  Why  they  did  not  kill  us 
then  and  there  I  cannot  understand. 

A  hasty  consultation  and  we  decided  to  draw  the  buggy  by 
hand.  So  two  took  hold  of  the  ends  of  the  neck  yoke ;  Mr.  Hen- 
derson took  one  whippletree ;  I  took  the  opposite  one ;  while 
father  and  David  Carrothers  pushed  behind. 

We  relied  on  the  promises  of  the  Indians,  so  ti'avelcil  rathei' 
leisurely.  But  I  could  not  keep  both  eyes  in  front.  To  tell  the 
truth  I  did  not  trust  them  as  Mr.  Henderson  did,  and  I  noticed 
soon  that  the  Indians  began  to  gather  in  our  rear.  One  after 
another  joined  until  they  were  all  together  and  following  us  at 
about  twenty  rods'  distance.  I  told  Mr.  Henderson  that  I  didn't 
like  the  looks  of  things,  but  he  said  it  was  all  right  and  accord- 
ing to  agreement.  My  reply  was  that  we  could  get  along  without 
a  guard  if  only  they  would  keep  away. 

We  had  just  reached  the  foot  of  a  little  descent,  and  the 
Indians  wore  at  the  top  of  it,  when  they  fired  the  first  shot,  a 
single  one,  which  passed  over  our  heads  and  landed  a  short  dis- 
tance ahead.  Dave  Carrothers,  much  excited,  dodged  and 
shouted,  "Look  out."  No  one  else  uttered  a  sound,  but  hurried 
on.  Of  course,  we  soon  found  that  we  could  never  take  the 
buggy  out  of  reach  of  the  Indians,  and  that  to  attempt  to  do  it 
meant  death.  We  could  not  possibly  do  Mrs.  Henderson  any 
good  either  by  remaining,  for  we  could  not  defend  her,  nor  by 
trying  to  take  her  along,  which  was  impossible.  And  hard  as 
it  was  we  were  obliged  to  abandon  her  and  her  two  little  girls, 
one  and  three  or  perhaps  two  and  four  j^ars  old.  Mr.  Hender- 
son said  that  he  could  not  leave  his  wife,   and   for  this  we  all 


828  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

honored  him.  Jehial  Wedge  said  that  Jlrs.  Henderson  had 
nursed  him  in  liis  sickness  and  he  would  not  leave  her.  By  this 
time  the  Indians  were  firing  quite  rapidly  and  every  instant 
some  one  had  a  narrow  escape.  So  we  left  them,  uncertain  as  to 
their  fate,  hoping  yet  fearful. 

It  seemed  that  as  soon  as  we  left  the  buggy  the  Indians  ceased 
firing  upon  it  and  one  after  another  all  but  two  or  three  passed 
it  and  came  on  after  us.  We  began  to  hope  they  might  be  spared, 
but  directly  we  saw  firing  from  the  rear  of  the  buggy,  and  very 
shortly  I  saw  Mr.  Henderson  emerge  from  the  middle  of  the  line 
of  Indians  (for  they  had  formed  a  line  with  extremes  about  ten 
or  twelve  rods  apart)  and  run  rapidly  toward  us.  We  slackened 
our  pace  and  waited  for  him. 

Every  one  of  the  sixteen  Indians  discharged  both  barrels  of 
his  gun  at  Mr.  Henderson,  and  I  do  not  doubt  that  some  reloaded 
and  fired  again.  How  a  man  could  come  almost  unhui-t  through 
such  a  storm  of  bullets  is  very  strange.  He  was  not  entirely 
unhurt.  They  had  shot  the  hat  off  his  head  and  his  shirt  was 
riddled  on  both  sides  of  his  body.  The  fore  finger  of  the  right 
hand  ivas  shot  off  at  the  first  joint  and  the  second  finger  had 
a  slit  from  the  middle  joint  to  the  end. 

He  said  that  Wedge  was  dead  and  that  he  thought  his  wife 
and  children  had  also  been  killed,  but  he  was  not  certain.  He 
afterwards  told  me  his  story  in  detail.  It  seems  that  nearly  all 
of  the  Indians  passed  the  wagon  without  giving  them  any  atten- 
tion, but  the  last  two,  who  were  at  a  short  distance  behind,  fired 
upon  them.  He  shouted  at  them,  but  Mrs.  Henderson  told  him 
to  take  off  a  pillow  case  and  hold  it  up  as  a  flag  of  truce.  This 
he  did,  but  they  fired  again  and  shot  off  the  finger  that  held  it. 
Then  they  stopped  and  made  a  sign  which  he  and  Wedge  under- 
stood to  take  hold  of  the  buggy  and  take  it  back.  So  each  one 
took  an  end  of  the  neck  yoke  and  started  to  turn  when  the 
Indians  fired  again  and  Wedge  fell.  He  then  ran  back  to  the 
wagon,  but  as  the  Indians  continued  to  fire  he  suddenly  resolved 
to  leave  his  wife  and  try  to  save  himself.  So  he  started  to  come 
to  us. 

We  were  fleeing  from  the  Indians  yet  we  were  not  going  as 
fast  as  we  might  and  Ave  maintained  a  show  of  defense,  although 
not  a  gun  had  been  discharged  on  our  side.  We  had  no  ammuni- 
tion to  spare  and  really  oiu-  guns  Avere  only  useful  in  keeping 
the  Indians  at  a  little  distance.  For  knowing  probably  that  at 
least  three  of  our  guns  only  carried  shot,  Avhile  theirs  carried 
ounce  bullets,  they  kept  beyond  the  range  of  our  guns,  Avhiie 
keeping  us  still  within  the  range  of  theirs. 

Of  course  the  pressure  from  the  Indians  compelled  us  to  catch 
up  with  the  women  and  children,  though  we  delayed  it  as  long 
as  possible.    When  Ave  finally  overtook  them  I  found  Mrs.  Dave 


HISTORY  OF  REN  \' I  LI,  K  (orNrV  229 

Carrotliers  nearly  giving  out,  as  she  liad  to  carry  licr  babj-,  so  I 
took  tlie  bal)\-.  wliic-li  greatly  relieved  her  and  she  was  able  to 
keep  np  with  the  rest.  I  think  we  iiuist  have  contiiuied  in  this 
way  foi-  about  a  mile  farther  when  Mrs.  White,  who  was  a  very 
fleshy  woman  and  was  carrying  a  baby,  stopped  and  said  tiiat 
she  conld  go  no  I'artlier.  So  we  passed  on  and  left  her  standing 
there.  We  watched  as  we  tied  to  see  what  her  treatment  would 
be.  and  were  much  surprised  to  see  an  Indian  go  up  to  her  and 
shake  hands  and  motion  to  her  to  go  back.  Seeing  that  she 
wasn't  liurt  she  called  out  to  the  rest  and  waved  a  white  hand- 
kerchief.    (See  Mrs.  White's  account  of  this  capture. — Ed.) 

It  then  seemed  tliat  it  was  the  intention  of  the  Indians  to 
capture  the  women  and  cjiildren,  and  as  it  was  utterly  inii)ossible 
foi-  them  to  escape  by  fleeing,  and  as  Ave  could  not  defend  them, 
they  deemed  it  best  to  stop,  which  they  <li(l.  1  ga\c  tlic  baby 
to  its  mother  and  kept  on. 

Dave  Carroth<'i'"s  oldest  child  was  a  boy  about  five  years  old. 
When  he  saw  ids  fatliei-  running  on  ahead  he  ran  after  him  as  fast 
as  ins  legs  could  cari'v  liiiii.  calling  to  his  fHtliei-  to  wait.  His  father 
did  not  wait  for  sonu'  tinu",  but  finally  stopiied  and  tuiiiing  the 
little  fellow  around  toM  liiiii  to  go  l)ack  to  his  inotlicr.  while  he 
himself  resunu'd  his  flight.  The  boy  reuuuncd  Avhere  he  was,  cry- 
ing until  file  Indians  canu'  nj).    Finding  him  ftlone  they  killed  liiiii. 

The  average  distance  whicli  the  Indians  kept  from  us  was 
about  fifteen  or,  possibly  twenty  rods,  and  as  fliey  were  expert 
marksmen  it  is  remarkable  that  any  escaped.  That  they  did  is 
due  to  two  i-easons.  First,  their  guns  were  i)oorly  loaded,  as 
the  bullets  were  simply  dropped  in  without  any  patch.  Second, 
we  kept  our  eyes  to  the  rear  and  jumped  to  one  side  or  fell  as  we 
saw  a  gun  discharged  at  us.  This  may  seem  like-  fiction  to  claim 
that  we  dodged  their  bullets,  but  it  is  nevertheless  true,  and  more 
than  one  owed  his  life  that  day  to  his  agility. 

We  were  stretched  out  in  a  soi-f  of  a  line  at  a  distance  of  sev- 
eral feet  apart,  and  being  separated  could  judge  quite  accurately 
whether  an  Indian  was  aiming  at  one's  self  or  not.  At  one  time 
Chalon  and  I  wei'c  rpiite  close  to  each  other,  Eugene  White  was 
a  few  rods  ahead,  and  the  ground  was  rising.  As  we  were 
watching  we  saw  an  Indian  level  his  gun  at  one  of  us,  but  being 
so  close  together  wo  could  not  tell  wliich  one,  so  at  the  flash  we 
both  fell.  It  provctl  that  it  was  intended  for  Chalon.  and  if  he  had 
not  dodged  it  would  have  struck  him  between  flic  shouhlers. 
]\Iissing,  it  went  on  and  struck  Eugene  White  on  flic  inside  of  the 
right  knee.  lie  fell  ])ut  innnediately  rose  to  a  sitting  position 
and  grasped  his  knee  with  his  hands.  I  ran  up  and  asked  him 
if  he  was  hit  and  he  replied  that  his  leg  was  bi-okcn.  but  he 
immediately  jumped  up  aiul  ran  on  with  a  bad  limp.  Soon  I 
noticed  tluit  he  turned  fo  flic  left  and  ran  a  little  to  one  side  and 


230  HISTORY  OF  REXVILLE  CoT'XT^' 

laj-  down  behind  a  bunch  of  tall  grass  or  weeds,  perhaps  think- 
ing that  it  concealed  him,  but  more  likelj'  he  realized  that  he 
could  go  no  farther.  By  this  time  the  firing  had  become  quit© 
rapid  and  there  Mas  little  chance  for  one  to  help  another,  and 
so  Eugene  was  left  behind.  Very  quickly  I  saw  an  Indian  run 
to  a  short  distance  from  where  he  lay  and  fire  both  barrels  of  his 
gun  at  him.     Of  course  I  knew  what  had  happened. 

The  Indians  were  now  crowding  us  hard,  and  we  were  some- 
what weary.  One  Indian  had  tried  two  or  three  times  to  get 
around  our  right  flank  so  as  to  get  an  enfilading  fire  on  our  line, 
but  each  time  we  had  spoiled  his  game  by  running  ahead.  At 
last  father  said  that  if  lie  tried  it  again  he  would  shoot  him. 
Sure  enough  he  did  try  it  again  and  father  stepped  on  top  of  a 
little  mound,  took  deliberate  aim  and  fired.  The  Indian  dropped 
and  I  saw  no  more  of  him.  I  could  not  tell  whether  he  was 
killed  or  not,  but  certainly  I  do  know  that  from  that  time  two 
Indians  gave  their  whole  attention  to  shooting  at  father.  Of 
course  father's  only  defense  was  gone,  for  he  had  no  ammunition 
to  reload  the  gun.  And  so  his  only  recourse  was  in  dodging  and 
they  kept  him  constantly  on  the  jump,  yet  he  was  not  hit.  But 
now  he  did  a  verj-  foolish  thing.  He  threw  away  his  gun ! 
Before  this  they  did  not  know  that  he  could  not  reload  his  gun, 
so  out  of  respect  for  it  they  kept  at  a  good  distance.  But  now  that 
he  had  thrown  it  away  they  had  nothing  to  fear,  so  they  closed 
in  on  him.  Seeing  them  closing  in  on  hira  he  called  to  the  boys 
to  stop  and  help  him.  But  we  had  become  a  good  deal  scattered 
and  Radnor  was  the  only  one  near  enough  to  help,  and  he,  brave 
boy,  stopped  to  face  two  of  them.  Father  said  that  as  he  ran 
up  to  Radnor  he  told  him  to  shoot  and  then  turn  and  run,  but 
for  some  reason  Radnor  threw  himself  on  the  ground  to  wait 
until  they  should  come  within  range  of  his  gun.  The  Indians, 
who  had  hitherto  come  along  together,  now  separated,  and,  mak- 
ing a  detour  to  the  right  and  left,  came  up  on  each  side,  and  yet 
Radnor  remained  until  thinking  them  near  enough  he  raised  and 
fired  at  one  of  them,  at  the  same  time  thej'  both  fired  at  him. 
There  could  be  but  one  result.  The  brave  boy  of  fifteen  had 
faced  two  warriors;  had  given  his  life  to  save  his  father's  and 
had  succeeded,  for  the  diversion  which  he  created  permitted 
father  to  get  awa}^  Here  was  an  example  of  heroism  and  devo- 
tion that  is  worthy  of  becoming  historical. 

As  I  have  already  said,  we  became  more  and  more  scattered 
after  the  capture  of  the  women,  and  I  had  begun  to  cogitate  as 
to  some  means  of  escape  besides  running,  for  I  felt  satisfied  that 
means  would  not  avail. 

The  country  there  is  what  is  called  rolling  prairie,  and 
between  the  ridges  of  swells  of  land  are  lower  places  or  swales 
containing  more  or  less  water  in  which  grass  and  flags  grow  to 


HISTORY  OF  KENVILLE  COUNTY  231 

tlie  height  of  sovci-al  feet.  As  I  ran  aloug  one  of  these  ridges 
I  noticed  that  not  an  Indian's  eye  was  upon  me.  They  were 
either  loading  their  guns  or  happened  to  be  looking  in  another 
direction.  Seizing  the  opportunity  of  the  moment,  I  threw  myself 
on  the  ground  and  rapidly  rolled  down  the  ridge  on  the  opposite 
side  from  the  Indians  until  I  had  descended  far  enough  so  that 
I  could  be  out  of  siglit  in  a  stooping  position.  Then  I  rose  and 
rapidly  ran  out  a  few  rods  into  the  swale  and  then  turned  and 
ran  back  ncnr,  but  not  in,  my  first  trail,  till  near  tlic  slioi'ter 
grass,  when  1  Ifd  my  retuim  trail  into  my  first  trail.  I  then 
turned  and  ran  back  into  the  swale  following  exactly  in  my  first 
trail  till  I  reached  the  point  where  I  turned.  From  there  I  con- 
tinued into  the  swale,  but  carefully  separated  the  grass  and  flags 
and  raised  them  behind  me  so  as  to  make  as  little  trail  as  possi- 
ble. When  I  had  gone  six  or  eight  rods  in  this  way  I  lay  down 
and  waited  to  see  what  would  happen. 

I  heard  very  little  firing  after  I  went  into  the  swale,  yet  for 
safety  I  remained  there  for  at  least  two  hours,  when  I  cautiously 
raised  up  and  becoming  satisfied  that  there  were  no  Indians 
about  I  left  the  swale  and  considered  what  I  should  do. 

To  go  back  jiome  was  out  of  the  question,  and  to  try  to  find 
the  others  was  useless,  for  I  did  not  know  what  had  become  of 
them.  So  I  determined  to  try  to  reach  the  fort,  which  was  prob- 
ably fifteen  or  sixteen  miles  distant.  There  was  a  well  beaten 
road  which  led  directly  to  the  fort,  known  as  the  Abercrombie 
road,  but  I  thought  it  would  be  unsafe  to  follow  that  road,  as 
the  Indians  would  be  sure  to  follow  it  if  they  chanced  to  be  pass- 
ing through  the  country.  So  I  made  up  my  mind  to  keep  along 
parallel  to  it  and  perhaps  a  half  mile  awa.y.  As  I  could  not  see 
the  road  I  was  obliged  to  travel  by  the  sun.  This  I  did  until 
sundown,  and  then  I  took  the  north  star  as  my  guide.  I  had 
resolved  to  keep  as  much  as  possible  in  the  lower  ground  and 
crossed  the  higher  ground  only  when  absolutelj^  necessary,  think- 
ing it  the  safer  course.  Just  about  sunset  I  looked  across  the 
prairie  from  behind  a  ridge  and  perhaps  a  mile  or  two  miles 
away  I  saw  a  person  who  appeared  to  be  a  white  man  in  his  shirt 
sleeves,  and  I  made  up  my  mind  to  try  to  overtake  him.  Still  I 
might  have  been  mistaken,  so  I  had  to  be  cautious.  So  it  grew 
dark  and  I  did  not  find  him.  I  afterwards  learned  that  it  must 
have  been  Mr.  Henderson,  and  when  I  asked  him  why  he  M'as  so 
careless  in  going  on  high  ground  he  said  that  he  kept  on  high 
ground  as  much  as  possible  so  as  to  see  if  any  Indians  came  near 
him.     I  have  always  thought  my  plan  the  safer  one. 

About  midnight  the  sky  became  cloudy  so  that  I  could  no 
longer  see  the  north  star,  and  realizing  how  easily  I  could  lose 
my  way  on  that  boundless  prairie  I  made  up  my  mind  to  stop 
until  morning.     After  considerable  search  1  found  a  swale  with 


232  HISTORY  OF  EEXVILLE  COrXTY 

tall  grass  aud  weeds  and  without  water.  There  I  carefully  dou- 
bled and  covered  my  trail,  as  I  had  done  in  the  day,  and  after 
cutting  a  bundle  of  grass  I  lay  down  and  covered  myself  up  as 
well  as  I  could  with  the  grass.  I  was  tired  and  quickly  fell 
asleep.  But  I  suddenly  awoke  with  a  start.  I  did  uot  know  what 
had  caused  it,  but  I  listened  and  soon  heard  the  note  of  a  night 
hawk.  It  seemed  only  a  short  distance  off,  and  quickly  I  heard 
another  night  haAvk  in  the  opposite  direction.  In  two  or  three 
miuutes  I  heard  a  noise  like  three  taps  on  a  powder  horn  with 
a  knife  and  quickly  it  was  answered  by  the  same  signal.  I 
instantly  recognized  the  state  of  affairs.  There  were  at  least  two 
Indians  who  had  discovered  my  trail  into  the  swale  and  had 
evidently  been  deceived  by  my  return  trail  and  were  circling 
about  trying  to  find  it  again.  They  used  several  different  sig- 
nals, such  as  the  bark  of  a  coyote  and  others,  and  appeared  to 
be  drawing  the  circle  smaller  until  thej-  came  so  close  that  I 
feared  that  the  next  time  around  thej'  would  discover  my  hiding 
place.  I  distinctly  heard  the  Indian  in  the  tall  grass  as  he  passed, 
and  waiting  until  I  thought  it  safe  I  carefully  made  my  way 
out  uutil  I  had  crossed  his  trail,  when  I  drew  my  knife  and  lay 
down  on  my  face  prepared  to  spring  if  discovered.  My  gun  was 
useless,  for  when  I  lay  down  in  the  daytime  I  was  in  water  at 
least  a  foot  deep  and  I  had  carelessly  allowed  my  gun  to  get  wet. 
My  thought  was  that  if  I  was  likely  to  be  discovered  I  might 
possibly  be  able  to  spring  on  the  Indian  and  knife  him  before  he 
could  defend  himself  and  thus  I  would  get  his  gi;n.  Fortiuiately 
they  did  not  discover  me  and  I  was  able  to  get  a  little  more  sleep. 

I  am  satisfied  that  my  changing  positions  Avas  very  indiscreet 
and  dangerous,  and  I  wonder  that  I  was  not  found,  for  in  crawl- 
ing as  I  did  I  must  have  made  a  very  broad  trail,  not  only  by 
crushing  the  grass  and  reeds  down,  but  also  by  shaking  off 
the  dew. 

I  supposed  at  the  time  that  these  Indians  had  followed  me 
from  the  start,  but  in  talking  with  father  afterwards,  I  learned 
that  he  tried  for  a  long  time  to  get  to  Fort  Ridgely  but  each  at- 
tempt was  frustrated  and  he  finally  turned  north.  It  may  be 
that  we  were  near  each  other  for  a  time  and  the  Indians  who 
discovered  my  trail  were  the  ones  who  were  pursuing  him. 

Early  in  the  morning  I  started  again,  keeping  due  eastward. 
I  had  had  nothing  to  eat  for  twenty-four  hours,  and  my  vigorous 
appetite  called  for  food.  Y^et  no  feeling  of  weakness  or  faint- 
ness  bothered  me.  I  was  as  lithe  and  active  as  if  I  had  slept 
in  the  finest  bed  and  had  eaten  a  fine  breakfast.  The  only  trou- 
ble I  had  was  that  the  grass  had  cut  my  pants  till  my  knees  were 
naked  and  bleeding.  Sometimes  Avhen  the  coarse  grass  would 
rake  across  my  sore  legs  I  would  have  to  wince,  but  there  was 
no  remedv  for  it. 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  233 

I  looked  for  teepson  hut  did  not  tiud  any.  Perhaps  tliat  was 
because  it  grew  on  the  higher  and  drier  ground  whioli  I  avoided 
as  much  as  possible. 

I  had  not  seen  the  Abercrombie  road  since  the  day  before  so 
I  determined  to  turn  south  in  order  to  discover  where  it  was  and 
to  learn  whether  I  had  wandered  out  of  my  way.  I  had  traveled 
perhaps  two  or  three  miles,  when  I  saw  at  a  distance,  a  man  on 
horseback,  going  west  at  a  lope.  At  that  distance  I  could  not 
make  out  wliether  the  man  was  a  white  man  or  an  Indian.  So  I 
stopped  for  a  Avliile  until  he  was  out  of  sight,  when  seeing  no 
other  I  made  up  my  mind  to  find  the  pony's  track,  which  might 
help  me  to  decide  whether  the  rider  was  white  or  red.  If  I 
found  that  the  pony  was  barefoot  I  would  know  it  to  be  Indian, 
b\it  if  shod  it  would  probably  be  white,  though  possibly  red. 

Carefully  I  made  my  way  until  I  came  to  the  Abercrombie 
road  and  saw  the  horse's  track  and  found  that  it  was  shod.  But 
where  could  the  rider  be  going?  I  thought  he  must  be  running 
into  extreme  danger  and  that  jjrobably  he  had  not  yet  heard 
of  the  outbreak.  At  any  rate  I  could  not  lu'lj)  him,  so  I  turned 
east  and  resolved  to  follow  llic  load.  rven  at  quite  a  risk,  for 
my  legs  were  very  sore. 

I  soon  came  to  quite  a  high  ridge  tliat  i-au  s((uarely  across 
the  road.  What  was  my  astonishment  when  I  had  ascended  far 
enough  to  look  over  it  to  see  at  some  distance  three  covered 
wagons  like  emigrant  Avagons.  1  had  been  rather  careless  on 
ascending  the  ridge,  but  instantly  on  discovering  the  wagons, 
threw  myself  down  behind  the  ridge  and  stopped  to  consider. 
"What  Avere  these  wagons?  I  concluded  that  they  wci'e  emigrant 
wagons,  which  had  been  captured  by  the  Indians,  who  were  now 
taking  them  to  the  agency,  and  that  the  mounted  man  I  had 
seen,  was  an  Indian,  riding  a  captured  horse.  What  should  I  do? 
was  a  question  to  be  decided  at  once,  whether  to  run  for  it  or 
to  take  refuge  again  in  a  swale  which  lay  near  the  foot  of  the 
hill.  But  I  determined  to  take  another  look  before  deciding  on 
what  to  do.  So  I  carefully  raised  up  until  I  could  look  over  the 
ridge  when  I  saw  one  of  the  plcasantest  sights  of  my  life,  a  body 
of  troops.  I  could  see  their  uniforms  and  the  glistening  of  their 
guns  and  bayonets  in  the  sunshine. 

I  did  not  remain  behind  the  ridge  long.  I  forgot  all  about 
my  sore  legs,  stiff  knees  and  all  that,  as  I  went  quickly  forward 
to  meet  them.  I  soon  found  it  was  about  fifty  soldiers  under  the 
command  of  Lieutenant  T.  J.  Sheehan,  who  were  on  their  way 
to  Fort  Ridgely,  which  was  then  about  ten  miles  to  the  west  of 
us.  So  I  had  wandered  so  far  to  the  north  that  I  had  passed  the 
fort  without  seeing  it  and  had  nu't  this  relief  ten  miles  east  of  it 
It  was  some  troops  who  had  been  for  some  time  at  Yellow  Medi- 
cine,   but   had    been    ordered    back   to   Fort   Ripley.     They   had 


234  IIISTOHV  OF  KEXVILLE  COUNTY 

stopped  at  Fort  Ridgely  ou  Saturday  night  aud  resumed  their 
march  on  Sunday  morning,  marched  all  day  Sunday,  and  camped 
and  again  resumed  the  march  Monday  morning,  the  day  of  the 
outbreak.  Just  as  they  were  preparing  to  go  into  camp  Monday 
night  they  were  overtaken  by  a  mounted  messenger  from  Fort 
Ridgely  with  orders  to  return.  So  after  cooking  and  eating  their 
supper  they  started  on  the  i-eturn.  They  had  marched  all  night 
aud  until  ten  o'clock  "Wednesday,  when  I  met  them.  Lieutenant 
Sheehau  questioned  me  with  regard  to  the  trouble,  but  I  knew 
nothing  except  what  I  had  seen  myself,  so  he  soon  told  me  to 
stop  for  the  commissary  wagon  and  get  something  to  eat.  I  did 
not  wait  to  hear  this  order  repeated.  In  a  minute  I  was  in  the 
wagon  asking  for  food.  The  driver  told  me  there  was  nothing 
but  raw  pork.  I  tliouglit  this  very  strange,  but  did  not  wait 
to  discuss  the  question.  I  found  the  pork  barrel  and  went  into 
the  brine  up  to  my  elbow  and  fished  out  a  chunk  of  pork  from 
which  I  cut  off  a  few  slices  with  my  kuife.  I  think  I  never  ate 
a  more  delicious  morsel.  Hunger  was  an  ample  sauce.  I  also 
enjoyed  the  ride.  It  seemed  such  a  luxury  to  ride  instead  of 
drawing  my  sore  legs  through  coarse  grass  with  edges  like  saw 
teeth. 

Fort  Ridgely  stands  upon  quite  a  prominent  bluff  or  promon- 
tory formed  by  the  ^Minnesota  river  on  the  south,  and  a  creek 
which  enters  it  at  an  acute  angle  on  the  north  and  east.  The 
bluffs  are  quite  high  and  they  and  the  bottom  lands  are  quite 
thickly  timbered. 

The  road  to  the  east  and  the  one  which  the  returning  troops 
would  follow,  went  through  this  creek,  and  the  Indians,  who 
knew  that  tliey  were  returning,  had  formed  an  ambuscade  in  the 
woods.  But  the  ofScer  at  the  fort  had  sent  a  messenger  by  a 
detour  to  notify  Lieutenant  Sheehan  of  the  ambuscade.  It  was 
tliis  messenger  that  I  had  seen  after  he  had  notified  the  lieutenant 
and  was  on  his  way  back  to  the  fort. 

When  we  had  reached  within  a  mile  or  so  of  the  creek,  Lieu- 
tenant Sheehan  came  back  to  tlie  wagon  in  which  I  was  riding 
and  asked  me  if  I  could  drive  a  four  mule  team.  I  told  him 
tliat  I  had  never  done  so,  but  that  I  believed  I  could.  So  he  took 
the  soldier  who  was  driving  the  rear  team  aud  sent  him  into  the 
ranks  aud  told  me  to  mount  the  mule.  There  were  three  teams 
and  wagons  and  I  thought  the  team  I  had  would  follow  the  one 
in  front  and  so  would  need  little  or  no  driving. 

Lieutenant  Sheehan  went  to  his  chest  and  took  out  a  broad 
red  scarf,  such  as  the  officer  of  tlie  day  wears,  and  put  it  on,  thus 
making  himself  very  conspicuous.  It  was  certainly  a  brave 
thing  to  do  under  the  circumstances,  but  very  indiscreet.  No 
experienced  Indian  fighter  of  today  would  think  of  doing  such  a 
thing. 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  235 

The  march  was  resumed,  but  before  reaching  the  woods  Lieu- 
tenant Sheehan,  -with  his  men,  made  a  wide  detour  to  the  right, 
where  the  bluft's  were  lower  and  the  woods  less  thick.  There  he 
crossed  the  creek,  but  left  the  wagons  with  tlie  three  teamsters 
to  go  through  tlu'  ambuscade.  I  thought,  at  the  time,  that  this 
movement  simu'ked  of  cowardice  and  that  the  lieutenant  desired 
mostly  to  get  his  own  skin  safely  into  the  fort.  But  the  lieu- 
tenant did  the  very  best  thing  that  he  could,  not  only  for  him- 
self and  the  soldiers,  but  for  us  as  well.  If  he  had  undertaken 
to  go  through  where  we  went  not  one  would  have  escaped.  What 
saved  us?  It  was  a  couple  of  howitzers,  which  had  been  ruu  out 
onto  the  bluff  and  loaded  with  shell  and  the  Indians  knew  that 
at  the  first  shot  the  shells  would  drop  among  them,  and  they 
were  mortally  afraid  of  them.  They  called  them  rotten  balls, 
because  they  flew  in  pieces. 

As  to  the  number  of  Indians  there,  I  rely  entirely  on  what 
was  told  me.  I  saw  only  a  few,  for  of  course,  they  were  as  well 
concealed  as  possible.  Why  did  they  not  shell  the  Indians  out 
of  there  before  Sheehan 's  troops  came?  That  would  seem  the 
proper  thing  to  do,  but  from  what  I  afterward  learned,  I  think 
the  officer  in  command  of  the  fort  hesitated  to  begin  hostilities, 
for  up  to  that  time  there  had  been  no  attack  on  the  fort,  which 
was  filled  with  refugees  and  contained  only  fifty  soldiers.  This 
place  did  not  deserve  the  name  of  fort,  for  there  were  only  two 
bullet  proof  buildings  in  it,  and  consisted  simply  of  a  few  build- 
ings built  around  an  open  square  with  open  spaces  between  them. 
Not  one  of  the  buildings  was  loopholed.  In  short,  the  post  was 
only  iutendetl  as  barracks.  It  was  never  intended  to  resist  an 
attack. 

We  had  reached  the  fort  safely,  but  what  was  the  condition 
of  the  things  inside? 

Quite  early  on  Monday  Captain  John  S.  Marsh  in  command 
of  the  fort,  had  heard  of  the  outbreak  and  at  once  started  with 
about  fifty  men  for  the  lower  agency,  where  he  was  ambuscaded 
and  twenty-three  were  left  dead  for  us  to  bury  two  weeks  after- 
ward, while  he  was  drowned  in  trying  to  swim  the  river.  This 
left  the  fort  in  command  of  liis  first  lieutenant,  with  nuly  fifty 
soldiers  to  defend  this  indefensible  place,  filled  ;is  ii  was  witli 
frightened  men,  women  and  children. 

Perhaps  it  was  best  that  he  did  not  commence  hostilities. 
Lieutenant  Sheehan  ranked  the  lieutenant  and  therefore  took 
command. 

As  soon  as  I  reached  the  fort,  I  applied  to  Lieutenant  Thomas 
P.  Gere  for  a  gun,  but  he  said  that  the  extra  guns  were  all  dis- 
tributed among  the  citizens.  But  after  a  while  I  found  a  sergeant 
who  was  on  detail  and  had  no  use  for  his  gun,  so  loaned  it  to  me 
with  belt  and  cartridge  box  and  I  then  joined  a  company  of  citi- 


236  IIISTOKV   UF  KKWll.LE  COlXTY 

zens  that  liad  been  formed  for  the  defense  of  the  fort  and  had 
chosen  Mr.  DeCanip  as  captain.  I  was  assigned  to  duty  at  one 
of  the  -windows  of  the  soldiers'  quarters,  a  stone  building,  which 
occupied  the  north  side  of  the  parade.  The  women  and  children 
were  in  the  second  story.  The  men  had  been  armed  as  well  as 
possible  with  guns,  but  when  these  Avere  all  distributed  they  were 
given  axes,  crowbars  and  the  like  and  stationed  at  the  doors  and 
windows  of  the  stone  building  to  guard  them  in  case  of  assault. 
Outside  of  this  stone  building  was  a  row  of  small  log  houses  that 
had  been  built  for  the  families  of  the  non-commissioned  officers 
and  troops  Avere  placed  in  and  behind  them  for  their  defense. 
Other  buildings  were  defended  by  placing  men  in  them,  but  there 
was  no  sign  of  a  breastAvork  about  the  fort,  Avhile  on  the  north, 
east  and  south  sides,  it  A\-as  AAithin  easy  gun  shot  of  raA-ines  and 
bluit's,  AA'here  Indians  could  lie  in  safety,  AA'hile  attacking  it. 

About  noon  of  August  20,  a  force  of  Indians  returning  from 
the  attack  on  Ncaa'  Ulm,  AA'ere  going  toAvards  the  agency  on  the 
opposite  side  of  tlie  i-iA'er.  and  the  commander  dropped  a  fcAV 
shells  among  them.  About  tAvo  o'clock  the  music  began  and  it 
seemed  for  a  Avhile  as  though  pandemonium  itself  had  broken 
loose,  for  the  Indians  numbered  400  or  500  and  they  fired  rapidly 
and  each  time  they  fired  they  xittered  the  Avar  AAdioop.  The  noise 
from  the  shooting  Avith  the  crashing  of  bullets  through  doors  and 
AvindoAvs  AA'as  bad  enough,  but  tin-  war  Avhoop  Avas  Avorse  yet.  for 
it  Avas  simply  blood  curdling  and  I  really'  think  that  I  dodged 
oftener  for  the  Avar  Avhoops  than  for  the  liullets.  For  a  moment 
it  seemed  that  my  hair  stood  on  end  and  I  Avas  a  bit  rattled,  but 
hy  an  effort  I  regained  control  of  myself  and  afterAvards  Avas  not 
badly  excited. 

I  could  not  do  nuieh  in  the  Avay  of  shooting  for  the  soldiers  in 
the  log  huts  soon  had  quite  a  cloiul  of  smoke  about  them  Avhich 
obscured  my  sight  and  made  it  dangerous  to  them  for  me  to  shoot. 
Ho  I  simply  remained  on  guard  at  tlic  AvindoAv.  The  fighting 
continued  till  long  after  dark,  Avheu  the  Indians  AvithdreAV.  No 
one  in  the  room  Avhere  I  Avas  stationed,  Avas  Avounded,  but  the 
surgeon  brought  in  others  avIio  had  l)een  Avounded  outside,  and 
the  sight  of  these  i)oor  felloAVs  taxed  my  nerves  scA'erely. 

After  the  fighting  ceased  everything  became  quiet  and  sciiiic 
of  us  slept  Avhile  others  kept  Avatch.  The  next  morning  the  citi- 
zens company  Avas  ordered  to  assemble  and  we  Avere  arranged 
in  single  rank  across  the  parade.  I  happened  to  stand  fourth 
from  the  right  of  the  company.  As  soon  as  Captain  DeCamp  had 
the  company  in  line  he  reported  the  fact  to  Lieutenant  Sheehan, 
Avho  proceeded  to  make  ns  a  speech  in  which  he  called  us  all  the 
mean  names,  such  as  coAvards  and  sneaks,  etc.,  that  he  could 
think  of.  I  Avas  surprised,  for  I  Avas  not  aAvare  of  sneaking,  but 
I  afterAvard  learned  that  many  of  them  had  deserted  their  posts 


HISTOKY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  237 

ami  goiif  upstairs  witli  the  women  and  children.  Lieutenant 
Shccliiui  t'n(l<'<l  liis  liiUiiiifj:ue  by  tcllinji^  Captain  DeCamp  to  pick 
out  ten  of  his  men,  it  lie  had  so  many  in  his  company  of  scrubs, 
and  detail  them  to  go  on  picket  duty  to  relieve  his  men. 

Captain  DcCamp  began  at  tlie  right  of  the  company  and  asked 
if  the  man  could  go  on  picket  duty  for  about  two  hours.  The 
man  gave  some  flimsy  excuse  and  said  no.  He  then  asked  the 
second  and  got  a  still  i)oorcr  excuse.  I  think  his  excuse  was  that 
he  luid  no  cartridge  box,  but  had  to  carry  his  cartridges  in  his 
pocket.  He  asked  the  third  man  and  got  another  flimsy  excuse. 
I  confess  by  that  time  I  was  ashamed  of  the  company  I  was  in 
and  I  did  not  blame  Lieuteiuint  Sheehan  for  the  language  he  had 
used.  I  think  I  would  have  volunteered  to  go  if  I  had  known 
I  would  get  hurt.  So  when  Captain  DeCamp  asked  me  I  answered 
promptly  and  loudly,  "Yes,  sir."  No  doubt  my  answer  came 
more  from  shame  and  bravado  than  from  bravery,  but  it  seemed 
to  have  a  magical  effect  on  Lieutenant  Sheehan  and  he  said, 
"Thank  God  for  one  man.  Take  a  pace  to  the  front."  Soon  the 
other  nine  were  found  and  we  were  taken  out  and  stretched  in  a 
picket  line  about  the  fort.  My  post  was  on  a  knoll  about  eighty 
rods  from  the  fort  and  on  the  Abercrombie  road.  Other  pickets 
were  about  twenty  rods  distant  on  either  side. 

Nothing  of  interest  occurred  during  the  two  hours  I  was 
on  that  post,  except  that  one  of  the  soldiers,  who  had  been  with 
Captain  Marsh,  returned  and  was  received  at  my  post.  While 
detaining  him  until  the  corporal  of  the  guard  could  come  and  ad- 
mit him  he  told  me  of  the  fight  between  Captain  Marsh's  men 
and  the  Indians. 

Having  been  relieved  from  picket,  I  received  my  breakfast 
which  was  the  first  meal  I  had  eaten  since  that  meal  of  raw  pork, 
and  I  put  in  a  good  supply,  for  I  did  not  know  when  I  would  get 
any  more.  I  had  made  up  my  mind  not  to  remain  in  that  citizens 
company  any  longer,  so  after  breakfast  1  went  to  a  sergeant  of 
Lieutenant  Sheehan 's  company  and  asked  him  to  take  me  into 
his  squad,  but  he  said  he  could  not  do  it  without  orders  and 
could  not  draw  rations  for  me.  I  thought  I  had  failed,  but  one 
of  the  men  who  stood  near  said,  "Take  him  in  sergeant  if  you 

can,  for  he  is  the  oidy  citizen  I  have  seen  that  is  Avorth  a  d n," 

and  another  said,  "We "11  tlivide  rations  with  him,"  and  so  I  was 
sort  of  adopted  by  that  squad  of  seven  or  eight  men.  But  I  did 
not  remain  with  them  long. 

The  next  day  there  were  signs  of  trouble  and  Lieutenant  Shee- 
han perfected  his  scheme  of  defense,  one  item  of  which  was  to 
divide  the  line  of  defense  into  squad  limits  and  place  a  sergeant 
in  command  of  a  certain  limit.  Thus  he  could  call  for  a  report 
from  any  part  of  the  line  at  any  time.  On  this  day  (Friday)  the 
squad  I  belonged  to  was  placed  behind  the  log  huts,  and  Captain 


238  IILSTOKY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

DeCamp  had  command  of  that  line.    Pretty  soon  the  firing  began 
briskly.     The  Indians  could  come  up  the  ravine  through  which 
the  road  ran  and  in  this  way  come  within  eight  or  ten  rods  of  us 
still   protected  by  the   banks  of  the  ravine,  so  we   had  to  look 
sharp.      We   had  become   greatly   interested   when   Captain    De- 
Camp  marched  slowly  along  In-hiiid  tlic  liiii',  apparently  giving 
no  heed  to  the  bullets.     When  he  had  readied  aliout  the  middle 
of  the  line  lie  stopped   and   said  in  a  voice  loud   enougli  to  be 
heard  all  along  tlie  line.  '"Boys.  I  am  ordered  to  shoot  the  first 
man  who  leaves  his  post  witliout  orders,  and  I'll  do  it  by  G-d." 
He  carried  a  Sharps  rifle  and  I  think  every  one  believed  that  he 
meant  what   he   said.     There  were  a  few  citizens  in  the   squad 
and  he  probably  remembered  how  they  had  acted  before.     Soon 
Lieutenant   Sheehan   came   running  to   Capt.   DeCamp   and   said 
he  wanted  four  men  to  go  to  the  other  side  of  the  parade.    There 
were  four  of  us  near  togetlier  and  DeCamp  designated  us  to  go 
with  Sheehan.      So  l)ringing  our  guns  to  "right  shoulder  shift" 
Sheehan  gave  the  order  to  double  quick  and  led  the  way  across 
the  parade,  which  was  being  raked  through  every   opening  be- 
tween the  buildings.    We  had  readied  the  middle  and  the  bullets 
were  coming  thick  enough  to  satisfy  even  Lieutenant  Sheehan. 
He  turned  around  and  said   to  us,  "G-d   d-n  it,  can't  you  run 
faster   than    that?'     Now,   as   a   sprinter,   I   was   not   ready   to 
acknowledge  any  superior,  so  I  let  out  and  before  he  knew  it  I 
was  way  ahead,  but  lie  called,  "'Hold  on,  hold  on,"  so  I  slacked 
up  and  let  him  catch  up  with  me.     At  the  south  side  he  left  me 
in  the  opening  between  the  headquarters  and  the  corner  building 
without    even    a    spear    of    grass    for    shelter.      1    could    simi)ly 
liug  the  ground  and  trust  to  luck.     But  they  did  not  leave  me 
there  long  before  Sergeant  Blackmer  called  to  me  to  come  into 
his  squad,  which  was  outside  of  all  the  buildings  on  the  east  side 
of  the  fort.     Here  I  found  myself  with  four  soldiers  and  though 
separated  from  my  friends  I  was  content.     Here  again  there  was 
nothing  to  shelter  the  men.     Our  only  protection  was  in  shooting 
so  well  that  the  Indians  would  not  dare  expose  themselves  long 
enough  to  take  good  aim.     Our  greatest  danger  was  in  the  fact 
that  the  gi'ound  in   our  front  was  quite  rolling,  with  numerous 
little  hillocks,   and  now  here,  now  there,   in  the   tall   grass  be- 
tween, an  Indian  would  suddenly  rise,  take  a  quick  aim  and  fire. 
One  was  particularly  persistent  and  seemed  to  have  a  particular 
desire  to  pick  me.     He  had  made  some  close  shots,  so  I  became 
rather  anxious  to  get  him.    In  my  eagerness  I  forgot  due  caution 
and  rose  on  my  knees  when  another  Indian  let  fly  at  me.     The 
bullet  hit  the  third  finger  of  my  riglit  hand  and  glanced  to  the 
stock  of  my  gun  which  it  damaged  considerably.    I  did  not  know 
that  I  had  been  hit,  but  found  myself  standing  upright  and  a 
soldier  tugging  at  my  clothes  to  pull  me  down.     I  lay  down  at 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  239 

once  and  resumed  the  watch  for  my  Indian.  Pretty  soon  the 
soldier  said  that  one;  of  us  must  be  hit,  for  there  was  blood  on 
the  ground.  I  told  him  that  it  was  he  and  showed  him  some 
holes  in  his  coat  sleeve.  But  he  said  no,  that  it  was  I,  and  pointed 
to  a  little  hole  just  in  the  center  of  my  shirt  front,  but  then  I 
remembered  that  that  hole  was  burned  one  evening  while  fishing 
with  a  ,iaek  aud  just  then  the  soldiiT  iioticcil  tlir  winiinl  (Hi  my 
finger.  I  was  bleeding  considerably  and  the  bone  was  bi'oken, 
yet  it  hadn't  begun  to  pain  me.  Sei'geant  Blackmer  sent  me  to 
the  surgeon  to  have  it  dressed  and  I  returned  to  the  squad,  but 
soon  the  feeling  returned  and  the  pain  was  terrific.  My  hand 
jerked  so  that  I  could  not  hold  the  gun  still  long  enough  to 
shoot.  So  as  I  was  disabled,  Sergeant  Blackmer  told  me  to  go 
behind  a  door,  nuide  of  inch  pine  boards,  which  was  leaning 
against  the  side  of  the  biulding  and  keep  watch  in  a  certain  direc- 
tion, which  did  not  seem  to  be  under  observation,  and  the  In- 
dians might  charge  on  that  side.  I  got  up  and  ran  over  and  sat 
down  behind  the  door  and  at  once  I  was  taken  with  an  unbear- 
able pain  in  my  hand  and  arm.  I  simply  could  not  endure  it 
and  had  just  come  out  from  behind  the  door  when  the  Indians 
fired  a  volley  at  it.  The  door  looked  like  the  top  of  a  pepper 
1)().\.  11  I  had  heeu  behind  it  1  \\'ould  have  been  hit  by  at  least  a 
dozen  balls.  1  returned  to  Sergeant  Blackmer,  who  ordered  me 
again  to  the  surgeon.  The  surgeon  dressed  it  again  and  put  on 
a  white  powder,  probably  morphine,  which,  for  a  time,  relieved 
the  pain,  but  I  was  entirely  unable  to  use  a  gun,  so  Sergeant 
Blackmer  told  me  to  keep  a  lookout  in  difl:"erent  directions.  Soon 
afterwards  Sergeant  Blackmer  was  wounded  in  the  jaw,  the 
bullet  passing  through  from  side  to  side.  The  poor  fellow  must 
have  suffered  terribly. 

For  several  hours,  lasting  luitil  quite  late  in  the  night,  they 
kept  up  the  attack.  There  were  a  good  many  of  our  men  huit 
and  I  think  we  must  have  done  them  some  injury  for  just  before 
their  attack  ceased  we  could  hear  an  Indian  down  in  the  timber 
calling  the  rest  away.  A  half-breed,  who  M'as  in  the  fort,  said 
that  the  Indian  said,  "Come  away  or  they'll  kill  us  all."  The 
firing  ceased  at  once  and  from  that  time  there  was  no  further 
attack  worthy  of  note.  They  kept  up  a  state  of  siege  so  that  it 
was  dangerous  for  one  to  expose  himself,  but  aside  from  occa- 
sional shots  there  was  no  firing.  This  state  of  siege  lasted  about 
ten  days  when,  to  our  delight,  one  day  a  company  of  mounted 
men  rode  into  the  fort.  The  Indians  made  but  slight  effort  to 
keep  them  out  and  immediately  departed,  well  knowing,  no  doubt, 
that  from  that  time  there  would  be  no  use  in  trying  to  capture  it. 
We  heard  no  more  of  them. 

As  soon  as  I  could  I  went  to  the  camp  of  the  cavalry  and 
found   it  composed   largely  of  refugees  under   the   command  of 


240  lllSTOKY  OF  EEXVILLE  COUNTY 

Captain  Joseph  Andersou,  who  was  an  old  Mexican  War  soklier. 
It  had  been  organized  for  the  express  purpose  of  relieving  New 
Ulm  and  Fort  Ridgely.  Much  to  my  surprise  I  found  Chalon, 
who  brought  me  news  of  the  safety  of  father,  Herman  and  Mil- 
lard White.  It  seems  strange  to  me  now  that  I  never  asked  father 
for  a  detailed  statement  of  his  experiences  after  we  separated. 
Neither  did  he  ever  ask  me  any  questions  as  to  my  escape,  and 
when  mother  returned  I  never  sought  a  history  of  her  adven- 
tures. All  that  I  know  concerning  any  of  them  was  what  I  heard 
them  tell  to  others. 

It  seems  that  after  fatlier's  rescue  by  Kaduor.  for  it  was  no 
less,  he  ran  across  Herman,  and  then  Chalon  and  Millard  White. 
They  tried  until  late  in  the  night  to  make  their  way  to  Fort 
Ridgelj',  but  they  seemed  to  be  prevented  by  some  Indians.  Fin- 
ally despairing  of  reaching  there,  they  struck  out  to  the  north 
and  at  last  reached  Glencoe,  after  a  couple  of  days.  Herman  be- 
came so  exhausted  that  father  had  to  carry  him  on  his  back  many 
weary  hours  before  they  reached  the  settlement. 

On  the  way  thej'  fell  in  with  two  (Mrs.  White  says  five)  In- 
dians, who  evidently  had  been  hunting  and  had  not  heard  of  the 
outbreak.  They  offered  no  indignities  except  to  compel  Chalon 
to  trade  guns  with  one  of  them  and  so  Chalon  lost  Little  Crow's 
gun. 

Father's  legs  were  so  badly  torn  by  the  grass  that  gangrene 
at  one  time  threatened. 

After  the  mounted  men  reached  the  fort  there  was  a  reorgan- 
ization of  the  company  and,  as  they  expected  to  go  on  whenever 
there  should  be  a  move  to  rescue  the  women  and  children  who 
were  prisoners,  I  made  up  my  mind  to  enlist  in  the  company, 
which  I  did.  A  new  roll  was  made  and  I  think  Chalon 's  name 
appears  as  third  and  mine  as  fourth  on  it.  W^e  elected  officers, 
choosing  as  captain,  Joseph  Anderson :  Brown,  first  lieutenant, 
and  Marshall,  second  lieutenant.  (I  am  not  positive  as  to  the 
name  of  the  second  lieutenant,  but  think  I  am  right.)  I  remem- 
ber two  other  aspirants  for  the  office  of  captain.  One  was  said 
to  be  an  old  hunter  and  Indian  fighter.  The  other  was  a  young 
Irishman,  whose  claim  to  the  office  was  based  on  the  alleged  fact 
that  he  was  in  the  battle  of  Pittsburgh  Landing  and  so  had 
had  experience.    However,  Anderson  was  elected  by  a  large  vote. 

The  next  few  days  were  spent  in  scouting,  foraging  and  drill- 
ing. Nothing  exciting  occurred,  unless  it  be  a  little  incident  by 
which  I  gained  the  Indian  blanket,  which  has  now  been  nearly 
worn  out.  I  was  scouting  one  day,  when  I  saw  a  white  object 
lying  on  the  ground,  and  riding  toward  it  I  saw  that  it  was  a 
blanket,  but  there  was  an  Indian  there  too.  An  argument  fol- 
lowed, which  resulted  in  my  taking  the  blanket,  which  I  needed 
and  which  the  Indian  did  not  need  any  longer. 


HISTORY  OF  KENVILLE  COrXT^'  241 

As  I  revert  to  those  times  it  stirs  my  pulses  a  little,  but  such 
tilings  as  this  just  related  were  then  considered  of  little  moment. 
I  have  wondered  a  thousand  times  that  I  did  not  get  my  foolish 
head  knocked  off,  but  aside  from  the  wound  in  my  hand  I  never 
received  a  scratch. 

Clialon  was  worse  than  a  daredevil.  Wherever  was  the  trail 
of  an  Indian  there  would  he  go,  seemingly  without  thought  of 
tlie  possible  consequences.  Yet  he  was  never  hurt,  though  he 
was  nmny  times  in  tight  places.  It  may  have  been  our  good  luck 
tliat  got  us  out  of  bad  scrapes. 

Sunday  morning,  August  31,  we  were  ordered  to  mount,  and 
tlicn  in  addition  to  our  heavy  muskets  and  bayonets  we  were 
given  heavy  cavalry  sabres,  the  most  useless  thing  to  us  that  we 
could  have.  But  we  had  to  take  them  anyway.  As  I  sat  there 
in  the  saddle,  weighted  down  with  musket,  bayonet,  saber,  cart- 
ridge and  cap  box,  besides  blanket  and  haversack,  I  felt  that  it 
would  be  impossible  to  get  out  of  the  saddle  without  first  un- 
loading. 

By  this  time  quite  a  large  force  of  infantry  had  reached 
the  fort  and  were  camped  on  the  prairie  west  of  it.  Colonel  Sib- 
ley was  in  connnand.  He  had  been  chosen  for  the  command  and 
given  the  rank  of  Brigadier  General,  because  of  his  previous  ex- 
perience M-ith,  and  knowledge  of  the  Indians. 

We  learned  about  noon  of  August  31  that  an  expedition  made 
up  of  Anderson's  cavalry  and  Captain  Grant's  company  of  in- 
fantry, had  been  ordered  to  proceed  to  the  lower  agency  and  set- 
tlements near,  for  the  purpose  of  burying  the  dead  and  of  learn- 
ing something  about  the  prisonei-s.  The  command  of  the  expe- 
dition was  given  to  IMajor  Brown.  We  took  along  seven  or  eiglit 
wagons  with  rations,  forage,  etc. 

Sunday  night  we  camped  in  the  river  bottom  not  far  from  the 
ferry.  It  was  my  luck  to  be  on  guard  that  night  and  though  we 
were  undisturbed,  there  were  plenty  of  signal  fires  indicating 
that  Indians  were  about.  The  next  morning  Major  Brown  or- 
dered Captain  Anderson  to  cross  the  river  to  the  agency  and 
learn  what  he  could  there,  if  anything,  then  to  proceed  up  the 
river  a  few  miles  and  cross  back  and  meet  the  infantry  in  camp 
on  the  Birch  Cooler.  Grant's  infantry,  after  burying  the  soldiers 
who  had  been  killed  at  the  ferry,  were  to  proceed  up  the  river  to 
the  mouth  of  Beaver  creek  to  ascend  that  to  our  home  and  then 
cross  over  to  Birch  Cooley  for  camp.  Birch  Cooley  is  the  name 
of  a  creek  about  three  miles  east  of  the  Beaver  creek.  Chalon 
and  I  were  detailed  as  guides  and  to  scout  for  the  infantry. 

For  some  reason  now  forgotten,  I  was  not  ready  to  start  with 
the  infantry  and  they  had  been  gone  quite  a  while  when  I  started 
after  them  and  met  a  squad  of  soldiers  under  a  half-breed  ser- 
geant, on  their  way  back  to  tlie  fort.     Why  they  had  been  sent 


242  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

along  or  why  uow  returning  I  do  not  know.  This  sergeant  liad 
ti-ied  to  get  uie  to  enlist  in  his  company  and  I  think  I  had  nearly 
promised  to  do  so,  but  when  Chalou  arrived  at  the  fort  I  changed 
my  mind  and  told  the  sergeant  so.  He  seemed  quite  disappointed 
and  inclined  to  be  angry.  When  I  met  the  sergeant  and  liis 
squad,  he  stopped  me  and  asked  me  again  to  enlist  in  his  com- 
pany, but  I  refused  and  started  on,  when  he  called  out,  "You'll 
never  see  the  fort  again."  Whether  he  tliought  to  frighten  me, 
or  thoiight  I  would,  while  scouting,  run  into  a  bad  place,  or 
whether  he  knew  tlie  danger  the  expedition  would  he  in.  I  do  not 
know,  nor  did  I  then  stop  to  think. 

I  was  soon  in  advance  of  the  infantry,  looking  out  for  possi- 
ble ambush.  Before  noon  Chalon  and  I  found  a  half-crazed 
Swedish  woman,  wlio  tried  to  elude  us  and  we  had  to  run  her 
down.  When  we  liail  captured  her,  we  learned  that  all  her  fam- 
ily had  been  killed,  she  lierself  had  been  wounded  by  fourteen 
buckshot  in  her  back  and  in  this  condition  liad  remained  so  near 
the  Indians,  supporting  herself  on  tlie  food  found  in  tlie  deserted 
houses.  We  halted  and  waited  until  the  infantry  came  up,  then 
we  turned  her  over  to  Captain  Grant  and  we  resumed  our 
scouting. 

We  reached  our  liouse  sometime  after  noon  and  it  was  a  sad 
looking  wi-eck.  We  did  not  care  to  remain  there  long  and  as 
our  camj)  for  the  night  was  to  be  nearly  in  the  direction  of  our 
flight  just  two  weeks  before,  we  made  uj)  our  minds  to  follow 
that  course. 

We  soon  came  to  the  place  wlu're  we  liad  li/ft  the  buggy  with 
Mrs.  Henderson  and  there  we  found  her  body  with  a  broken  jug 
at  her  head,  the  bodies  of  her  two  little  girls,  and  a  few  feet 
away  the  body  of  Mr.  Wedge. 

Mr.  Henderson  had  accompanied  the  expedition  and  was 
there  to  see  the  remains  of  his  wife  anil  children.  He  Avas  nearly 
heart-broken,  but  I  think  he  did  not  utter  a  word. 

These  buried,  we  followed  on  and  found  the  body  of  Dave 
Carrothers'  little  boy,  but  did  not  succeed  in  finding  the  body 
of  Eugene  White.  Chalon,  soon  after,  called  and  said  that  he  had 
found  Eugene,  but  when  I  reached  him  I  at  once  recognized  the 
body  as  Radnor's  from  the  clothing..  The  body  was  so  decom- 
posed as  to  be  unrecognizable.  It  was  now  getting  late,  so  we 
buried  him  in  a  shallow  grave  and  turned  the  camp,  feeling  that 
we  had  lost  the  best  boy  that  ever  lived. 

We  found  the  camp  formed  about  twenty  rods  from  the  tim- 
bered banks  of  the  Birch  Cooley  and  surrounded  by  knolls  and 
ravines.  In  fact,  as  I  remember  it  now,  it  could  not  have  been 
placed  better — for  the  Indians.  The  wagons  had  been  drawn  up 
in  a  circle  about  five  or  six  rods  in  diameter  and  the  horses 
were  tied  to  a   rope  stretched  across  the  circle  and   fastened  to 


HISTORY  OK  KKWII.I.H  CO  TXT  Y  243 

tlie  wagons.  Tlie  tents,  known  as  the  Sil)ley  tent,  were  pitehed 
inside  the  eireh"'  and  would  aeconiniodate  about  twenty  men  eaeli. 
The  tent  which  I  slept  in  that  nijjht  faced  tlie  east  and  I  hap- 
l)ene(l  to  lie  just  at  the  side  of  the  entrance.  Chalon  was  a  wagon 
guai-d  and  slejit  inider  the  wagon.  The  Swedish  woman  we  had 
eaplui'cd.  had  h.ecii  put  into  a  covered  wagon  and  a  butt'alo  robe 
was  given  her  for  covering. 

About  four  o'clock  the  ne.xt  morning,  j\ist  as  the  gray  of 
apiifoacjiiug  dawn  began  to  appear,  one  of  my  company  who 
had  been  one  of  Walker's  Filibusters,  saw  some  objects  running 
about  the  ])rairie  near  the  camp,  which  he  thought  must  be  hogs. 
Thiidving  it  would  be  a  great  joke  on  the  inexperienced  men  to 
give  an  alarm  lie  fired  on  one  of  the  supjiosed  hogs,  when  to  his 
surprise  his  shot  was  followed  immediately  by  a  terrific  war- 
whoop  and  volley. 

What  he  took  for  hogs  were  Indians  sneaking  u\)  with  bows 
and  arrows  in  order  to  kill  the  sentinels  without  giving  an  alarm, 
and  expecting  then  to  charge  a  .sleeping  cam]i.  But  the  joke  was 
unfoi-tunate  for  them,  for  tlie  camp  was  alarmed.  The  Indians 
immediately  directed  their  fire  at  about  br(>ast  high  of  the  tents, 
calculating  that  the  soldiers  would  s]iring  up  at  the  first  alarm 
and  many  wouUl  be  hit  before  getting  out  of  the  tents.  They 
were  right.  Very  few  of  the  men  of  either  company  had  been 
under  fire  before  and  they  imniediately  sjirang  up.  ^lauy  were 
killed   and  wounded   in  the  tents. 

With  tile  first  wai'-whooj)  I  was  wide  awake  and  at  once  rolled 
on  my  face  in  oi-der  to  get  up.  Immediately  the  commotion  began. 
Serg(>ant  Baxter,  a  big,  noble  fellow,  sjjrang  up  and  said,  ''Come 
on,  boys,  don't  be  afraid,'"  and  started  foi'  the  tent  door',  .lust 
then  he  clasped  his  hands  to  hi.s  chest  and  cried,  ""^ly  (lod,  boys, 
I'm  shot  in  the  lireast,"  and  he  fell  across  my  legs.  He  was  so 
heavy  that  it  took  fpiite  a  few  seconds  to  get  out  from  under  him, 
and  when  I  reached  the  line  tiling  was  heavy.  Chalon  was  in 
his  element.  He  stood  at  the  end  of  a  wagon  and  fired  as  rapidly 
as  possible.  His  conduct  jjleased  Caj)tain  Anderson,  and  every 
time  he  fired  the  captain  praised  him,  thinking  probably  that 
"the  ))oy"s'"  courage  would  soon  play  out.  P>ut  when  he  saw  that 
he  held  his  ])osition  he  finally  oi'dered  him  to  lie  down,  saying 
that  he  could  not  atl'ord  to  lose  such  a  brave  fellow.  I  lay  along 
side  of  the  cajitain  and  I  soon  found  that  he  was  as  cool  and 
unconcerned  as  an  iceberg.  That  hel])ed  me  and  othei's  to  keep 
cool. 

Thinking  that  when  the  Indians  should  find  out  that  they 
couhl  not  tak<'  the  camp  by  surjjrise  they  would  leave  we  gave 
our  sole  attention  to  the  fight.  But  as  it  continuecl  hour  after 
houi'  without  any  let  up  and  our  losses  were  severe  we  began  to 
dig  each  for  himself.     My  utensils  for  digging  were  my  bayonet 


244  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

and  my  hands,  till  I  soon  liad  a  little  ditch  with  a  slight  bank 
iu  front,  wliich  aft'oi'ded  a  good  protection.  The  others  of  our 
company  provided  for  themselves  in  the  same  way.  Captain 
Grant  had  a  few  shovels  in  his  wagons  and  with  these  the  men 
soon  dug  a  trench  deep  enough  and  long  enough  to  give  protec- 
tion to  the  Avhole  company.  As  the  Indians  persisted  in  the 
attack,  and  we  were  completely  surrounded,  no  one  could  get  out 
to  go  to  the  fort  for  help.  So  our  officers  began  to  caution  the 
men  not  to  waste  ammunition,  as  no  one  could  tell  how  long  we 
might  have  to  stay  there,  and  judging  by  the  firing  it  would  be 
madness  to  attempt  to  cut  our  way  tlirough  to  the  fort,  which 
was  sixteen  miles  away.  No  one  dared  to  hope  that  the  firing 
would  be  heard  so  far,  so  the  prospects  for  relief  were  very  poor. 

There  was  not  a  bucket  of  Mater  iu  the  camp,  and  we  soo:i 
began  to  suffer  intensely  from  thirst,  especially  as  we  liad  to  bite 
the  cartridges,  thus  getting  powder  in  our  mouths.  I  got  some 
relief  by  chewing  a  bullet,  which  started  tlie  saliva  and  moistened 
my  mouth. 

Pood  was  as  scarce  nearly  as  water.  All  I  had  to  eat  during 
the  battle  was  a  small  iiieee  of  raw  cabbage  leaf,  but  that  was 
very  delicious. 

As  evening  came  the  Indians  left  a  part  of  their  number  to 
keep  up  the  fight.  Init  the  larger  number  withdrew  into  the  woods 
of  tiie  bottom  lands,  Avhere  they  were  perfectly  safe,  and  slaugh- 
tered and  roasted  beef  for  their  suppers,  which  the.y  evidently 
enjoyed  more  than  we  did. 

The  firing  continued  all  night,  which  was  as  light  almost  as 
day.  We  were  allowed  no  rest.  We  dared  not  sleep,  even  a  por- 
tion at  a  time,  for  it  had  been  noticed  that  when  we  slackened 
fire  too  much  they  became  nuich  bolder,  and  as  we  had  lost  a  good 
many  our  fire  was  necessarily  much  lighter  than  at  first.  At  one 
time  Captain  Grant's  men  slackened  their  fire  so  much  that  we 
on  the  other  side  of  the  circle  were  badly  exposed  to  the  Indian 
fire  and  most  of  our  casualties  were  from  that  side.  So  Captain 
Anderson  determined  to  send  word  to  Captain  Grant  to  that  effect. 
He  asked  me  to  go.  As  I  was  simply  to  go  there  and  back  I  left 
my  gun  and  made  a  bold  dash  for  it,  thinking  I  would  get  across 
before  the  Indians  would  see  me.  But  they  were  alert  and 
instantly  the  bullets  came  thick.  There  had  been  a  scow  picked 
up  somewhere  and  brouglit  along  on  one  of  the  wagons  and  on 
camping  had  been  thrown  upon  the  ground.  This  lay  convenient 
for  nie  and  I  threw  myself  behind  it.  The  firing  quickly  ceased, 
and  after  a  few  minutes  I  went  on  to  Captain  Grant  and  delivei'ed 
my  message.  When  I  sprang  up  to  return  it  seemed  as  tiiough 
they  were  all  watching  for  me,  for  I  never  heard  bullets  whistle 
so  thickly.  Again  I  dropped  behind  the  boat  and  from  there 
across  was  a  little  more  discreet. 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  245 

Morning  came.  Noon  came  and  went  -with  no  promise  of 
relief.  Bnt  about  two  o'clock  in  the  afternoon  we  noticed  a  stir 
among  the  Indians,  a  slackening  of  their  fire,  and  we  soon  were 
aware  that  most  of  them  had  left  us  to  meet  a  force  coming  to 
our  relief.  A  regiment  under  (ieneral  Sibley  was  coiiiiiig  and, 
scarcely  halting,  they  formed  a  line  of  battle  and  scattered  the 
redskins  from  in  front  of  them.  The  Indians  didn't  make  much 
of  an  eifort,  for  they  were  outnumbered  and  there  was  no  show 
for  them.  Of  our  force  of  140  men  more  than  half  were  killed  or 
wounded.  We  buried  thirteen  there.  Among  them  was  poor 
Henderson.  I  did  not  seem  him  after  the  fight  began.  We  found 
him  between  our  lines  and  the  Indians.  He  had  probably  started 
to  run  at  the  beginning  of  the  fight,  and  was  caught  between  the 
lines,  and  whether  killed  by  soldiers  or  Indians  no  one  knows. 

Our  relief  was  fortunate.  Soon  after  the  fight  began  a  picket 
at  the  fort  reported  firing  towards  the  west.  General  Sibley 
immediately  dispatched  an  officer  and  several  companies  of  troops 
to  our  relief,  but  after  coming  about  tlu-ee  miles  the  officer  went 
back  and  said  he  could  not  hear  any  firing.  Meantime  it  had 
been  plainly  heard  at  the  fort,  so  General  Sibley  peremi)torily 
ordered  him  to  come  to  our  relief  and  to  continue  until  he  found 
us.  The  officer  then  started  again  and  came  within  three  miles 
and  camped,  notwithstanding  that  the  fight  w-as  still  going  on. 
Neither  did  he  make  any  proper  effort  in  the  morning,  for  before 
he  got  started  General  Sibley  had  taken  another  force  and  came 
to  seek  us,  and  had  found  the  officer  just  ready  to  break  camp. 

A  good  hearty  meal  and  we  were  loaded  into  wagons  for  our 
return  to  the  fort.    Every  one  of  our  horses  had  been  killed. 

Father  had  meantime  reached  the  fort  and  learned  where  the 
"Earle  boys"  were.  You  may  imagine  his  feelings  as  he  stood 
on  the  knoll  by  the  picket  post  and  heard  the  firing  hour  after 
hour,  knoM'ing  that  his  two  boys  were  there.  We  were  in  a  wagon 
near  the  end  of  the  train  and  as  we  neared  the  fort  there  was 
father  asking  constantly,  "Do  you  know  anything  of  the  Earle 
boys?"  I  heard  him  while  he  was  still  quite  a  distance  off  and 
some  of  the  answers.  Some  said  both  were  kiUed,  soine,  one  killed 
and  so  on.  As  the  last  wagon  drew  near  and  he  had  not  yet 
found  either  nor  got  a  satisfactory  answer  to  his  questions  he 
began  to  be  discouraged  and  his  voice  trembled.  By  the  time  our 
wagon  reached  him  he  had  ceased  to  ask  for  the  Earle  boys,  but 
asked  for  the  Cullen  Guard,  the  name  of  our  company.  I  rose  up 
and  said  yes,  there  were  two  he  would  be  glad  to  see. 

Birch  Cooley  is  reckoned  among  the  most  severe  battles  of  the 
frontier,  indeed  I  think  there  were  very  few  others  where  the 
percentage  of  loss  was  greater.  The  battle  lasted  without  a 
moment's  cessation  from  about  four  o'clock  on  Tuesday  morning 
until  two  o'clock  Wednesday  afternoon,  a  period  of  thirty-four 


24G  HISTORY  OF   HK.\\11>LH  COIXTV 

hours.  Tlie  most  of  the  time  I  was  near  Caiitaiu  Anderson,  wlio 
was  wounded  six  times,  but  fortunately  none  were  very  severe. 
Captain  DeCamp  was  killetl  and  buried  there.  The  wounded  were 
loaded  as  best  they  eould  be  into  the  wagons  whieh  the  relief 
party  brought,  but  the  jolting  was  severe  and  brought  many  a 
groan  from  the  poor  fellows.     Our  return  was  necessarily  slow. 

The  woman  who  had  lain  in  the  wagon  throughout  the  fight 
was  not  in  the  least  injured,  although  the  box  looked  like  a  sieve, 
and  I  was  told  that  the  butfalo  robe  whieh  covered  her  was  cut 
into  strings. 

The  next  morning  after  my  return  F  was  sick  and  very 
feverish.  ]My  hand,  which  was  far  from  being  healed,  was  enor- 
mously swollen  anil  discolored.  I  reported  to  Ijieutenant  Brown, 
as  Cajitain  Anderson  was  in  the  hospital,  and  lie  took  me  to  the 
surgeon  who  had  tii'st  tlressed  it.  He  renuMubered  me  and  gave 
me  the  dickens  for  neglecting  it.  I  had  lost  the  dressing  at  Birch 
Cooley  and  he  said  I  had  taken  cold  in  it  and  talked  diseourag- 
ingly  about  saving  it.  However,  he  dressed  it,  and  I  reported 
every  day  until  he  finally  saitl  that  I  nuist  lose  the  hand.  I  told 
father  what  he  said,  and  he  at  once  objected  and  said  that  he 
believed  that  the  hand  could  be  saved  if  I  was  where  I  coidd  have 
j)roi)ei'  treatment  and  diet.  So  the  surgeon  said  that  I  could 
have  my  choice  between  an  opei'ation  and  a  discharge.  I  chose 
the  latter.  When  the  discharge  came  it  was  in  the  form  of  a 
furlough  for  the  remainder  of  my  term  of  enlistment,  as  General 
Sibley  was  not  authorized  to  grant  a  discharge. 

Note. — These  reminiscences  by  Dr.  E.  W.  Earle,  of  Rochester, 
New  York,  were  published  in  pamphlet  form  some  years  ago 
through  the  efforts  of  William  Wickman,  by  Asa  M.  Wallace,  of 
Fairfax,  under  tlie  direction  of  the  "Renville  (_'ount>-  Pioneer's 
Society. 

CHAPTER  XVI. 

COUNTY  GOVERNMENT. 

Orig-inal  Counties — Wabashaw — Dakotah — Pierce  and  Nicollet — 
Renville — Changes  in  Boundaries — Lincoln — Election  Legal- 
ized— County  Commissioners — County  Officers. 

Alexander  Ramsey,  the  first  tri'ritoi'ial  governor  of  Minnesota, 
arrived  at  St.  Paul  with  liis  family  .May  L'T,  1S49.  -lune  1.  1S49, 
lie  issued  a  ])roclamation  declaring  the  territory  duly  organized. 
June  11  a  second  proclamation  was  issued,  dividing  the  territory 
into  three  temiiorar\'  judicial  districts.  The  first  comprised  the 
counts-  of  St.  Cidix.  The  county  of  La  Pointe  and  the  region 
north  and  west  of  the  IMississippi  and  north  of  the  Minnesota 
and  of  a  line  niiiiiing  due  west  frcuii  the  headwaters  of  tlie  iliniie- 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  247 

sota  to  tlir  .Missouri  riwr,  constituted  tiic  sccoml.  The  coun- 
try west  of  the  Mississippi  and  south  of  the  Minnesota  formed 
tlie  third  district.  Jud^'e  (ioodrich  was  assi{,'ned  to  tiie  first. 
Judge  ^leeixer  to  tile  second,  and  Judge  Cooper  to  the  third. 
A  court  was  ordered  to  he  lield  at  Stillwater  on  the  .second  Mon- 
day, at  the  Falls  of  St.  Anthony  on  the  third,  and  at  Meiidota 
on  the  fourth  .Monchiy  of  .\ugust.  Renville  county  was  included 
in  the  second  disti-ict,  with  Judge  Meeker  on  the  l)ench. 

T'ntil  June  "Jfi  Uovernor  Ramsey  and  faiiuly  had  been  guests 
of  11(111.  11.  11.  Sihh'y,  at  .Meiidota,  On  the  afternoon  of  that  day 
they  arrived  at  St.  Pa\d  in  a  l)!i'cli-hark  canoe  and  became  per- 
manent residents  at  tlie  capital.  On  July  1  a  laud  olifice  was 
established  at  Stiilwati'i-.  and  A.  \'an  X'orhees,  after  a  few  weeks, 
became  the  registi'ar. 

On  July  7  a  proclamation  was  issued,  dividing  tlie  territory 
into  seven  council  districts,  and  ordering  an  election  to  be  held 
on  the  first  ilay  of  August,  for  one  delegate  to  repi-esent  the  peo- 
ple in  the  House  of  Representatives  of  the  United  States,  for 
nine  councillors  and  eighteen  representatives,  to  constitute  the 
Legislative  Assembly  of  .Minnesota.  Renville  enmity  was  included 
in  the  seventii  district. 

Original  Counties.  'l"he  first  tei'i-itoria!  legislature  as.semiih'd 
September  'A.  1849,  and  adjourned  Noveridjcr  1.  By  an  act 
approved  October  27,  1849,  the  territory  was  divided  into  nine 
counties:  Washington,  Ramsey,  Benton,  Itasca,  Wabashaw, 
Dakotah,  Walinahta.  ]\Iahkalito  and  Pembina.  Oidy  the  counties 
of  Washington.  Ramsey  and  Benton  were  fully  oi-ganized  for  all 
county  purposes.  The  others  were  organized  only  for  the  pur- 
pose of  the  api)ointment  of  .justices  of  the  peace,  constables  and 
■such  other  judicial  and  ministerial  offices  as  might  be  specially 
provided  for.  They  were  entitled  to  any  number  of  justices  of 
the  peace  and  constables,  not  exceeding  six,  to  be  ajipointed  by 
the  governor,  their  term  of  office  wan  to  be  two  .years  unless 
sooner  removed  b.v  the  govei-noi',  and  tlie.v  were  made  conserv- 
ators of  the  peace, 

Wabashaw.  Wabasliaw  countj-,  as  "erected"  by  the  act  of 
October  27,  1849,  comprised  practically  all  of  tiie  soutiiern  part 
of  the  present  state  of  Minnesota.  Its  noi-thei-n  boundar.N'  was  the 
parallel  running  through  a  ])oiiit  on  the  .Mississi])])i  opposite  the 
mouth  of  the  St.  Ci'oix,  and  a  jioint  a  trifie  noith  of  the  mouth  of 
the  Yellow  Medicine  rivei':  the  southei'u  boundar.v  was  the  Iowa 
line;  its  eastern,  the  .Mississip])i ;  and  its  western  the  ]Misso)iri; 
and  it  also  include<l  the  big  peninsula  between  the  Missouri  and 
the  Big  Sioux  rivers,  and  all  of  what  is  at  present  southeastern 
South   Dakota. 

Th(^  southern  part  of  tlu'  present  K'enxille  e(iunt.\-  thus 
fell      in      what     was     then     Wabashaw     countv,     tlu'      northei'ii 


248  HISTORY  OF  EENYILLE  COUNTY 

boiuidary  of  Wabasliaw  county  crossing  the  present  lienville 
county  due  east  from  a  point  a  trifle  north  of  the  mouth  of  the 
Yellow  ]\Ieclieine  river. 

Itasca  and  Wabashaw  were  attached  to  Wasliiugton  county, 
tlie  three  counties  being  constituted  the  Second  judicial  district, 
with   lion.  David  Cooper  on  the  bench. 

DaJtotah.  Dakotah  county  was  also  "erected"  by  the  act  of 
October  27,  1849.  Its  eastern  boundary  was  the  Mississippi,  its 
northern  boundary  was  a  line  drawn  due  west  from  the  mouth 
of  the  Clearwater  river,  its  southern  boundary  was  a  line  drawn 
due  west  from  a  point  on  the  Mississippi  opposite  the  mouth  of 
the  St.  Croix,  while  the  western  boundary  was  the  Missouri  river. 

Dakota  eoimty  tlius  included  in  its  vast  area  tlie  northern 
part  of  what  is  now  Renville  county,  taking  in  the  present  town- 
ships of  Wang,  Ericson,  Crooks,  Winfield,  Kingman,  Osceola. 
Brookfield,  Boon  Lake,  and  all  except  a  strip  on  the  south  of 
HaAvk  Creek,  Sacred  Heart,  Emmet,  Troy,  Bird  Island,  Melville, 
Hector  and  Preston  Lake. 

Dakota,  Wahnahta  and  Mahkahto  were  attached  to  Ramsey 
county  for  jiidicial  purposes.  They  were  with  Ramsey  consti- 
tuted the  first  judicial  district  and  Aaron  Goodrich  was  assigned 
as  judge  thereof.  St.  Paul  was  made  the  seat  of  justice  of  Ramsey 
county  and  the  terms  of  the  district  court  were  appointed  to  be 
held  there  every  year  on  the  second  Monday  of  April  and  the 
second  Monday  of  September. 

The  legislature  of  1851,  by  Chapter  I  of  the  Revised  Statutes, 
passed  January  1,  divided  the  territory  into  Benton,  Dakota, 
Itasca,  Cass,  Pembina,  Ramsey,  Washington,  Chisago  and  Waba- 
shaw counties  and  defines  their  borders. 

Dakota  (the  final  "h"  having  been  dropped)  county  was 
made  to  consist  of  all  that  part  of  the  territory  west  of  the 
Mississippi  i-iver  and  lying  west  of  a  line  drawn  due  south  from 
Medicine  Bottle's  village  at  the  Pine  Bend  of  the  Mississippi  river 
(between  the  present  cities  of  South  St.  Paul  and  Hastings),  and 
south  of  a  line  beginning  at  the  mouth  of  the  Crow  river  (empty- 
ing into  the  Mississippi  between  Hennepin  and  Wright  counties), 
and  up  that  river  and  the  north  branch  thereof  to  its  source,  and 
thence  due  west  to  the  Missouri  river. 

Dakota  county  as  before  was  attached  to  Ramsey  county  for 
judicial  jjurposes.  tinder  this  revision  Dakota  county  embraced 
all  of  what  is  now  Renville  county. 

Pierce  and  Nicollet.  By  an  act  passed  March  5,  1853  (Henne- 
pin county  having  been  established  March  6,  1852),  the  legisla- 
ture organized  the  counties  of  Dakota,  Goodhue,  Wabasha,  Fill- 
more, Scott,  Le  Sueur,  Rice,  Blue  Earth,  Siblej',  Nicollet  and 
'  Pierce.  The  present  Renville  county  fell  in  Nicollet  and  Pierce 
counties,  the  dividing  line  being  a  line  drawn  due  north  from 


ITTSTOKY   (Vi-  1^'FA'VTLLE  rOT-\TV  249 

tlif  iiiiiutli  of  till'  Littlo  Kock  (now  called  Mud)  creek.  Thus  all 
of  the  jiicsent  Kenville  eouuty  was  in  Pierce  county  except  the 
townships  of  Boon  Lake  and  Preston  Lake,  which,  except  possibly 
a  strip  of  a  few  rods  on  the  west,  were  in  Nicollet  county.  Pierce 
county  was  attached  to  Nicollet  county  for  judicial  purposes. 
February  23.  1854,  Houston,  Fillmore,  "Winona,  Wabasha  and 
Goodhue  were  established,  and  ^lareli  2,  1854,  Sibley  county  \vas 
orpranize<l. 

Renville.  Kcbiniary  20,  18.')"),  the  legislature  passed  an  act 
defining  the  bovuidaries  of  the  following  counties:  Olmsted, 
Dodge,  ilower,  Freeborn,  Blue  Eartli,  Farribault,  Steele,  Rice, 
Dakota,  Scott,  Le  Sueur,  Nicollet,  Sibley,  Carver,  Renville,  Davis, 
Wright,  Stearns,  Brown,  Goodhue,  Newton,  Benton,  AVabasha, 
Fillmore,  Hennepin,  Pierce,  St.  Louis  and  Todd.  The  act  estab- 
lishing Renville  county  was  as  follows: 

■'That  so  much  of  the  territory  as  is  embraced  in  the  follow- 
ing boundaries  be  and  is  hereby  established  as  the .  county  of 
Renville :  Beginning  at  the  center  of  the  main  channel  of  the 
Minnesota  river,  where  the  line  between  townships  111  and  112 
crosses  said  river;  thence  east  along  said  township  line  to  the 
western  boundary  of  Sibley  county;  thence  along  the  boundary 
line  of  Sibley  and  Carver  counties,  to  the  line  between  townships 
117  and  118,  thence  west  along  said  line  to  the  middle  of  the 
main  channel  of  the  Minnesota  river ;  and  thence  up  the  center  of 
the  channel  of  said  river  to  the  place  of  beginning." 

This  would  include  all  of  what  is  now  Renville  eouuty.  It 
would  also  take  in  the  two  southern  townships  in  what  is  noAV 
Meeker  county,  the  four  sotithern  townships  in  Avhat  is  now 
Kandiyohi  county,  and  several  townships  in  what  is  now  Chip- 
pewa county. 

By  an  act  approved  March  8,  1860,  an  entirely  new  Renville 
county  was  organized.    The  act  read  as  follows : 

"Section  1.  That  the  upper  and  lower  Sioux  reservations  as 
defined  by  the  govei-nment  survey  made  by  'Sevan  &  Hntton,' 
except  so  much  thereof  as  lies  east  of  range  thirty-four  (34)  and 
south  of  the  Minnesota  river,  be  and  the  same  are  hereby  attached 
to  and  become  a  part  of  the  county  of  Renville. 

"Section  2.  At  the  general  election  it  shall  be  competent  for 
the  legal  voters  in  the  said  county  of  Renville  to  elect  all  the 
county  officers,  justices  of  the  peace  and  constables,  as  said  county 
may  be  entitled  to  by  law,  which  officers  shall  qualify  and  enter 
upon  the  duties  of  their  office  at  the  time,  and  in  the  manner 
prescribed  by  law. 

"Section  3.  It  shall  hv  the  duty  of  the  first  board  of  county 
commissioners  which  shall  be  elected  in  jjursuance  of  this  act, 
as  soon  after  said  board  shall  have  been  elected  and  qualified 
according  to  law,  as  the  said  board  or  a  majority  thereof  .shall 


250  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

determine,  to  locate  the  county  seat  of  said  county  to  all  intents 
and  purposes  until  otherwise  proviiletl  by  la\v. 

"Section  4.  The  county  of  Renville  is  hereby  attached  to 
the  county  of  Nicollet,  for  judicial  i)ui'poses.  until  the  countj' 
officers  of  said  county  shall  have  been  elected  and  qualified  as 
contemplated  by  this  act. 

"Section  5.  Tliat  from  and  after  the  election  and  qualifica- 
tiou  of  the  eount>'  officei's  of  Renville  county  as  aforesaid  the 
said  county  shall  be  included  in  the  Sixth  judicial  district. 

"Section  6.  The  change  in  the  county  lines  of  Renville  coiuity 
as  provided  for  in  section  one  of  this  act  shall  be  submitted  to 
the  electors  of  the  counties  affected  by  said  change  at  the  next 
general  election  for  their  approval  or  rejection. 

"Section  7.  This  Act  shall  take  effect  from  and  after  its 
adoption."    This  act  was  repealed  in  1866. 

The  upper  ami  lower  I'eservations  consisted  of  a  strij)  of  land 
twenty  miles  in  width,  ten  miles  on  each  side  of  the  I\Iinuesota 
river  extending  fi-om  the  mouth  of  the  Little  Rock  (MutI-)  creek 
in  tile  western  part  of  Nicollet  county  to  the  south  end  of  Lake 
Traverse,  thus  taking  in  a  small  part  of  what  is  now  South  Da- 
kota. Renville  county  as  constituted  by  the  act  of  1860  took 
in  all  this  strip  cxi-i-pt  tliat  part  of  it  which  is  now  included  in 
Brown  county. 

"Some  time  before  the  Indian  uprising  an  election  was  held. 
It  is  said  that  the  following  officers  were  elected :  Commissioners, 
Stephen  R.  Henderson,  John  I\Ieyer  and  Clemens  Cardenell : 
register  of  deeds,  Stephen  R.  Henderson:  judge  of  probate, 
Andrew  Hunter;  clerk  of  court,  John  Hose;  auditor,  James  Car- 
rothers;  sheritf,  David  Carrothers;  county  attorney,  Cieorge 
Gleason.  It  appears  that  the  judge  of  probate  authorized  the 
sale  of  land  by  a  guai-dian  for  his  ward."  So  declares  an  early 
history.  Considerable  doubt  has  been  ca.st  on  the  statement. 
Possibly,  however,  the  election  was  some  time  after  March  8. 
1860,  and  befoi'e  August  18,  1862.  At  that  time  Renville  county 
included  the  entire  Indian  reservation,  a  .strij)  twenty  nnles  wide, 
extending  along  the  Minnesota  from  the  mouth  of  the  Little  Rock 
to  Big  Stone  lake,  ten  miles  on  each  side  of  the  Minnesota. 

March  5,  1862,  an  act  was  passed  by  the  legislature  detach- 
ing Renville  from  Nicollet  county  as  a  judicial  district,  and  trans- 
ferring all  Renville  county  cases  from  the  court  of  Nicollet  county 
to  the  court  of  Renville  county.  Court  was  to  be  held  the  first 
Monday  in  October.  I'nder  this  act  Renville  county  as  a  part  of 
the  Sixth  judicial  district. 

September  29,  1862,  after  the  massacre,  Renville  county  was 
again  attached  to  Nicollet  county  for  judicial  purposes,  and  all 
judicial  officers  of  Nicollet  county  were  given  full  powei-  in  Ren- 


HISTORY  OF  KEXVILLE  COUNTY  251 

villf  county-.    Mai'eli  5,  1863,  the  legislature  passed  an  act  ahatiui; 
tile  tax  on  proix-i'ty  destroyed  d\ii'ing  the  niassaei'e. 

Lincoln.  Lincoln  connty  was  established  March  8,  1861,  as 
follows:  "Hef;innin'r  at  the  northeast  coi'nei'  of  town  one  hun- 
dred and  seventeen,  of  ran<re  thirty-one:  thenee  in  a  southerly 
direction,  along  the  range  line  between  ranges  thirty  and  thirty- 
one  to  tlic  southeast  coi-ner  of  town  one  iiundred  and  fifteen, 
of  I'ange  thirty-one:  thenee  in  a  westerly  direction,  along  the 
town  Hue  between  towns  one  hundred  and  fourteen  and  one  hun- 
dred and  fifteen,  to  the  southwest  corner  of  town  one  hundred 
and  fifteen  of  range  thirty-five;  thenee  in  a  northerly  direction, 
along  the  range  line  between  ranges  thii'ty-five  and  thirty-six,  to 
the  northwest  cornei'  of  town  one  hundred  and  sixteen  of  range 
thirty-five;  thence  in  an  easterly  direction,  along  the  town  line 
between  towns  one  hundred  and  sixteen  and  one  hundi'ed  and 
seventeen,  to  the  southeast  covnei'  of  town  one  linndi'ed  and 
seventeen  of  range  thirty-three;  theuce  in  a  noftherly  direction, 
along  the  i-ange  line  between  ranges  thirty-two  and  thirty-three, 
to  the  uoi't Invest  corner  of  town  one  hundi'ed  and  seventeen, 
of  range  thirty-two;  thence  east  to  the  place  of  beginning."" 

This  took  in  two  townships  in  the  i)i'esent  county  of  Meeker 
and  till'  following  townships  in  the  present  county  of  Kenville: 
Winfield,  Ti'oy,  Kingman,  P>ird  Island,  Osceola,  Jlelville,  Brook- 
field,  Hector,  liooii  Lake  and  Preston  Ijake.  Lowell  was  the 
county  seat. 

This  act  was  repealed  in  18fiG.  Tn  1870  another  attempt  wa.s 
made  to  establish  Lincoln  county.  An  act  approved  by  the  legis- 
lature, February  12.  1870,  was  as  follows: 

"Section  1.  The  boundai\v  line  of  Lincoln  county  is  hereby 
established,  and  hereafter  shall  be  as  follows,  viz.:  Beginning 
at  the  southeast  corner  of  township  number  one  hundred  and 
twelve  north,  of  range  number  thii-fy-two,  running  north  to  the 
soutiieast  coi'nei-  of  townshij)  number  oiu'  hundred  and  fifteen 
north,  of  range  niunber  thirty-two;  thenee  east  to  the  southeast 
corner  of  said  townshij)  one  hundi-ed  and  fifteen  north,  of  range 
number  thirty-one;  thenee  north  to  the  townshi|i  line  between 
townships  number  one  hundred  and  sixteen  and  one  hundred 
and  seventeen  north,  of  range  tliii'fy-one ;  thenee  west  on  said 
line  to  the  southwest  cornel'  of  townslii|)  number  one  hundred 
and  seventeen  north,  of  range  number  thirtytlu'ee ;  thence  south 
on  the  range  line  between  ranges  thirty-three  and  thirty-four, 
to  the  main  channel  of  the  Minesota  river;  thence  down  the  main 
channel  of  the  .Minnesota  river  to  the  intersection  with  the  line 
between  townships  iiumbei'  one  hundred  and  eleven  and  one  hun 
dred  and  twelve;  thence  east  on  said  Hue  to  the  place  of  begin- 
ning. Provided,  that  if  the  teri-itory  embraced  in  townships  one 
hundred   and   seventeen   north,   of   ranges  tliirty-onr'   and    thirtv- 


252  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

two  sluill  uot  be  attached  to  Meeker  cotmty  by  a  vote  of  the 
electors  of  the  territory  to  be  affected  thereby,  then  and  in  that 
case  sucli  territory  sliall  revert  to  and  form  a  part  of  Lincoln 
county. 

"Section  2.  At  tlie  time  of  giving  notice  of  tlie  next  gen- 
eral election,  it  shall  be  the  duty  of  the  officers  of  the  cotmty 
of  Renville,  required  by  law  to  give  notice  of  such  election,  to 
give  notice  in  like  manner,  that  at  said  election  a  vote  will  be 
taken  on  tlie  question  of  changing  the  boundary  lines  of  Renville 
county  in  accordance  with  the  provisions  of  this  act.  At  said 
election  the  voters  of  said  county  of  Renville  in  favor  of  the 
change  proposed  by  this  act,  shall  have  distinctly  Avritten  or 
printed,  or  partly  Avritten  or  printed  on  their  ballots,  'For  change 
of  botmdary  line  of  Renville  county  in  favor  of  Lincoln  county,' 
and  those  opposed  to  said  change,  'Against  change  of  boundary 
line  of  Renville  county  in  favor  of  Lincoln  county,'  and  returns 
thereof  shall  be  made  to  the  same  office  by  the  judges  of  elec- 
tion of  the  several  townships  and  bj-  the  auditor  of  said  Renville 
county  as  upon  votes  for  state  officers. 

"Section  3.  The  county  of  Lincoln  is  hereby  attached  for 
judicial  purposes  to  the  eoitnty  of  Renville. 

"Section  4.  The  foregoing  provisions  of  this  act  shall  take 
effect  and  be  in  force  from  and  after  the  ratification  and  adop- 
tion of  the  proposed  change  by  a  majority  of  the  voters  of  Ren- 
ville county." 

This  Avould  include  the  present  towns  of  Preston  Lake,  Boon 
Lake,  Brooktield,  Hector,  ]\lartinsburg,  "Wellington,  Cairo,  Osce- 
ola, Melville,  Palmyra.  Bandon  and  Camp. 

The  present  Lincoln  county  organized  in  1873  contains  no  part 
of  the  old  Lincoln  county. 

Renville.  On  March  1,  1S66.  tlie  legislature  passed  the  fol- 
lowing act  relating  to  Renville  county : 

"Section  1.  The  boundar.y  line  of  Renville  county  is  hereby 
established,  and  shall  hereafter  be  as  foUoM's :  Beginning  at  the 
centre  of  the  main  channel  of  the  Minnesota  river,  on  the  line 
between  township  one  htindred  and  eleven  (111)  and  town.ship 
one  htindred  and  twelve  (112)  north,  thence  east  to  the  south- 
west corner  of  township  one  hundred  and  twelve  (112)  north, 
of  range  thirty-two  west;  thence  north  to  the  northeast  corner 
of  township  one  hundred  and  fourteen  (114)  north ;  thence  west 
to  the  northwest  corner  of  township  one  hundred  and  fourteen 
(114)  north,  of  range  thirty-two  (32)  west;  thence  north  to  the 
northeast  corner  of  township  one  hundred  and  sixteen  (116) 
north ;  thence  west  to  the  northwest  corner  of  township  one  hun- 
dred and  sixteen  (116)  north,  of  range  thirty-six  (36)  west : 
thence  south  to  the  centre  of  the  main  channel  of  the  Minnesota 
river;  thence  down  said  river  to  the  place  of  beginning. 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  2.-i:J 

"Section  2.  Tin-  (-oiuity  ol"  Rt'uvillc  is  hereby  declared  an 
organized  rounty,  and  the  eouiity  seat  thereof  temporarily  lo- 
cated at  Heaver  Falls.  Tlie  last  election  of  county  officers  for 
Renville  county  is  hereby  eonfiriued  and  i-atitied,  and  saitl  officers 
until  their  successors  are  elected  and  (|ualified,  shall  have  full 
power  and  authority  to  do  and  perform  all  acts  and  duties  of 
their  respective  oiSces  within  the  limits  of  Renville  county,  as 
defined  in  section  one  of  this  act,  which  the  officers  of  other  or- 
ganized counties  can  do  and  jierfoi-ni  witiiin  theii-  respective 
counties. 

"Section  3.  At  the  time  of  giving  notice  of  the  next  general 
election,  it  shall  be  the  duty  of  the  officers  of  Renville  county, 
requireil  l>y  law  to  give  notice  of  such  election,  to  give  notice 
in  like  manner,  that  at  said  election  a  vote  will  be  taken  on  the 
question  of  changing  the  boundary  lines  of  Renville  county,  in 
accordance  with  the  provisions  of  this  act.  At  said  election  the 
voters  of  Kenville  county,  in  favor  of  the  change  proposed  by 
this  act,  siudl  have  distinctly  wi'itten  or'  printed,  or  partly  writ- 
ten and  partly  printed  on  their  ballots:  For  change  of  boundary 
lines  of  h'eiivine  county.  And  tiiose  opposed  to  such  change: 
Against  change  of  boundai-y  lines  of  Renville  county;  and  re- 
turned to  the  same  officer  by  judges  of  election,  as  votes  for 
State  officers. 

"Section  4.  The  county  officers  to  whom  the  returns  are 
made  shall,  within  twenty  days  after  said  election,  canvass  the 
votes  ietnrn(>d  for  or  against  the  change  of  boundary  lines,  and 
shall  fm-thwith  cei-tify  the  result  of  such  canvass  to  the  Gov- 
ernoi-.  who,  if  it  appears  that  the  ma.iority  of  votes  in  said  county 
on  tile  question  of  changing  the  boundary  lines,  are  in  favor  of 
such  clumge,  shall  make  proclamation  thereof  by  causing  1o  be 
ptdjlished  in  a  newspaper  in  said  county,  or  in  lirown  county 
that  llie  change  proposed  by  this  act  has  been  ratified  and  adojited 
by  the  nui.jority  of  the  electors  of  said  county. 

"Section  5.  All  acts  and  parts  of  acts  inconsistent  with  this 
act  are  hereby  repealed. 

"Section  G.  This  act  shall  take  effect  and  be  in  force  from 
and  after  the  ratification  and  adoption  of  the  proposed  change 
as  aforesaid." 

The  boundaries  given  in  this  act  included  all  the  present 
county  of  Renville  except  the  present  towns  of  Brookfield,  Hec- 
tor, Boon  Lake,  Preston  Lake,  Ericson,  Sacred  Heart,  Wang  and 
Hawk  Creek. 

The  election  was  held  November  8,  1866.  What  action  was 
taken  in  the  matter  of  the  boundaries  is  not  known.  Beaver 
Falls  an<l  Birch  Coole\-  were  rivals  for  the  county  seat,  and 
Beaver  Falls  won. 

By   an   act    iipproved    March   2,   1867,   the    boundaries   of   the 


254  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COFNTY 

coimty  were  established  as  follows:  "Beginning  in  the  middle  of 
the  main  channel  of  the  Minnesota  river  on  the  line  between 
townships  one  hundred  and  seventeen  and  one  hundred  and 
eighteen  north,  on  the  fifth  principal  meridian;  thence  east  on 
said  township  line  to  the  line  between  ranges  thirty-six  and 
thirty-seven ;  thence  south  on  said  range  line  to  the  line  between 
townships  one  hundred  and  sixteen  and  one  hundred  and  seven- 
teen ;  thence  east  on  said  township  line  to  the  northeast  corner 
of  town  one  hundred  and  sixteen,  of  range  thirty-six ;  thence 
south  on  the  line  between  ranges  thirty-five  and  thirty-six,  to 
the  line  between  townships  one  linndred  and  fourteen  and  one 
hundred  and  fifteen ;  thence  east  on  said  township  line  to  the 
line  between  ranges  thirty-one  and  thirty-two ;  thence  south  on 
said  range  line  to  the  line  between  townships  one  hundred  and 
eleven  and  one  hundred  and  twelve :  thence  west  on  said  town- 
ship lini'  to  the  centre  of  the  main  channel  of  the  ilinnesota  river; 
thence  up  said  channel,  to  the  place  of  beginning."" 

This  would  include  a  part  of  tlu'  present  county  of  Chippewa 
and  the  following  townships  in  tjic  jirt'sent  Renville  county: 
"Wang,  Erickson.  ("I'ooks,  Hawk  Creek,  Sacred  Heart,  Emmet. 
Flora,  Henryville,  Norfolk,  Bi'aver  Falls,  Birch  ( 'ooley.  Palmyra, 
Bandon,  Camp,   ilartinsburg,   Wellington  and  ( 'airo. 

Other  sections  of  the  act  wei-e  :  "SiM-tion  1.  That  the  elec- 
tion held  in  Renville  county  on  the  eiglith  ila\'  of  November, 
1866,  for  the  election  of  county  ofticers  for  said  county  is  hereby 
confirnuHl  and  ratified,  and  saiil  officers,  until  their  successors  are 
elected  and  qualified  shall  have  full  power  and  authority  to  do 
and  perforin  all  acts  and  duties  of  their  fi'spective  otfices  witliin 
the  limits  of  Renville  county  as  hereafter  defined. 

"Section  3.  The  following  named  persons  are  hereby  declared 
to  be  the  legally  eon.stituted  officers  of  said  Renville  county,  until 
their  successors  are  elected,  and  qualified  according  to  law,  viz. : 
County  treasurer,  Henry  Ahrens;  county  commissioners,  George 
McCulloch,  N.  D.  White  and  Francis  Shoenmker;  judge  of  ju-o- 
bate,  Nelson  Frazier;  sheriff,  James  (iraves;  county  auditor, 
Charles  R.  Eldridge ;  regi.stfr  of  deeds,  R.  "W.  Davies ;  county 
surveyor,  M.  S.  Spicer ;  clerk  of  district  coui't.  Edward  Trevett 
Tillotson;  coroner.  Jacob  Hawkins.'" 

The  first  board  of  comity  commissioners,  consisting  of  N.  I). 
White,  George  McCulloch  and  Francis  Shoemaker,  met  April 
2,  1867.  On  motion  of  Francis  Shoemaker,  N.  D.  White  was  ap- 
pointed chairman.  On  motion  of  N.  D.  White  the  county  was  di- 
vided into  towns  as  follows : 

Mud  Lake,  including  what  is  now  Cairo  and  all  the  towns  in 
range  :32  within  the  county;  Camp,  including  all  the  towns  in 
range  '-VA  within  the  county;  Birch  Cooley,  including  the  four 
towns  now  in  range  34;  Beaver,  including  what  is  now  Beaver 


HISTOHV  ()F  HEXVILLE  ("Ol'NTY  255 

Falls  and  all  otiicr  towns  in  the  c'ount\-,  now  in  rauge  35;  Flora, 
including  wliat  is  now  Flora  Brooks,  and  I'hiinirt ;  Hawk  Creek, 
including  what  is  Sacred  Heart,  Ei-icksoii,  Hawk  Creek  and 
Wang.     Eight  school  districts  were  created. 

The  second  meeting  was  held  Api'il  4.  On  motion  of  Francis 
Shoemaker,  James  Carrothers  of  Beavci-,  was  apjjointed  sheriff, 
the  elected  sheriff  not  having  qualilied.  On  motion  of  George 
McCulloch,  .Alarlow  S.  Spicer  was  apjiointed  superintendent  of 
schools,  and  .James  Butler,  coroner,  the  elected  coroner  not  hav- 
ing qualified.  Ju<tges  of  election  and  ]ilaces  of  election  were  as- 
signed for  the  various  townshi|)s.  It  was  voted  to  request  the 
register  of  deeds  of  Nicollet  county  to  surrender  the  early  county 
records  of  Kenville  county,  which  were  lost  during  the  massacre, 
and  fiinilly  found  to  he  in  the  pos.session  of  Nicollet  county. 
George  Bowers  was  ajipointed  .judge  of  probate. 

Another  act  at  the  first  board  of  the  commissioners,  was  to 
provide  for  the  lack  of  necessities  among  the  settlers.  Want 
amounting  in  some  localities  to  destitution  prevailed  throughout 
the  belt  of  country  ilevastated  by  grasshoppers.  Redwood  and 
Renville  being  frontier  counties,  felt  the  scarcity  and  consequent 
high  prices  more  than  the  older  counties.  Successive  failures 
had.  moreover,  nearly  discouraged  the  farmers.  In  the  emer- 
gency the  aid  of  the  state  was  offered  to  the  sufferers  through 
Governor  Wm.  K.  ]\Iai'shall.  Redwood  and  Renville  counties 
took  advantage  of  the  (jroffered  aid  and  received  from  Fort 
Ridgely,  in  the  form  of  provisions,  liai'd  tack,  beans,  hominy 
and  pork,  besides  seed  grain  with  which  to  make  a  new  start. 
On  the  motion  of  N.  I).  White  the  county  board,  May  16,  1867, 
passed  the  following  resolution  :  "Resolved,  that  the  destitution, 
among  our  settlers,  is  such  that  in  order  to  remain  upon  their 
homesteads  and  i)rocure  seed  they  need  promi)t  and  official  aid, 
and  it  is  hereby  ordered  that  the  counly  accept  the  [jroffered  aid 
of  his  excellency,  Wm.  R.  .Marshall,  governor  of  the  State  of 
Minnesota,  and  the  credit  and  good  faith  of  the  county  is  hereby 
pledged  for  the  payment  of  any  ilebt  that  shall  be  1  hereby  in- 
curred, and  the  anthoi'ities  of  the  sevei'al  towns  in  the  county 
are  hereby  directed  to  ajiply  to  Samuel  ^lel'haill.  the  agent  for 
the  district,  for  supplies  of  seed  and  rations,  and  to  make  return 
to  the  county  eounnissioners,  accounting  for  the  amounts  re- 
ceived, and  the  distribution  thereof  in  each  town,  and  it  is  further 
directed  that  each  town  shall  be  7'esponsible  foi-  the  transporta- 
tion of  its  own  share  of  such  sujjplies  fi-om  Foi't  Ridgely  to  the 
place  of  distribution."  A  similar  i-esolntion  was  adopted  by  the 
board  of  Redwood  county. 

The  board  of  county  commissionei's  for  1868  consisted  of 
N.  D.  White  (chairman),  Francis  Shoemaker  and  Halleck 
Peterson. 


256  HISTOKY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

In  1868  Renville  county  was  established  as  follows:  "'Begiu- 
ning  in  the  middle  of  the  main  channel  of  the  Minnesota  river, 
on  the  line  between  townships  one  hundred  and  eleven  (111) 
and  one  hundred  and  twelve  (112)  north;  thence  east  to  the 
southeast  corner  of  township  one  hundred  and  twelve  (112)  north, 
of  range  thirty-two  (32)  west  of  the  fifth  meridian:  thence  north 
to  the  northeast  corner  of  township  one  hundred  and  fourteen 
(114)  north:  thence  west  to  the  northwest  corner  of  township 
one  hundred  and  fourteen  (114)  north,  of  range  thirty-two  west; 
thence  north  to  the  north-east  corner  of  township  one  hundred 
and  sixteen  (116)  north;  thence  west  to  the  northwest  corner 
of  township  one  hundred  and  sixteen  (116)  north,  of  range  thir- 
ty-eight west;  thence  south  to  the  centre  of  the  main  channel 
of  the  ilinnesota  river:  thence  down  the  main  channel  of  said 
river  to  the  place  of  beginning :  provided,  that  if.  after  the 
passage  of  this  act,  it  shall  be  jutlieially  determined  that  town- 
ships one  hundred  and  fifteen,  one  Innidred  and  sixteen  and  one 
hundred  and  seventeen,  of  range  thirty-one,  and  townships  one 
hundred  and  fifteen,  one  hiuidred  and  sixteen  and  one  hundred 
and  seventeen,  of  range  thirty-two,  are  not  a  part  of  the  county 
of  McLeod.  then  and  in  that  case  the  said  townships  shall  con- 
stitute a  part  of  the  count\-  of  Renville  notwithstanding  the  pro- 
visions of  this  act." 

By  an  act  approved  February  28,  1866,  it  was  provided  that 
the  above  mentioned  towns  (Brookfield,  Boon  Lake,  Hector,  Pres- 
ton Lake,  and  two  now  in  Sleeker  county — the  six  then  forming 
part  of  the  old  county  of  Lincoln)  should  be  transferred  to  Mc- 
Leod  county,  the  act  to  take  effect  \ipon  its  ratification  by  the 
electors  of  SIcLeod  county.  Such  ratification  was  proclaimed 
by  the  governor  on  December  20,  1866.  The  effect  of  it,  however, 
was  to  reduce  the  area  of  Lincoln  county  to  six  townships  or  only 
216  square  miles,  in  violation  of  Constitution,  Article  11,  para- 
graph 1,  which  forbids  any  reduction  below  400  square  miles, 
and  therefore  these  townships  remained  in  Lincoln  county  until, 
by  the  above  section,  that  county  was  merged  in  Renville 
county. 

By  the  laws  of  1870,  chapter  97,  t^vo  of  these  towns,  viz..  117 
of  range  31,  and  117  of  range  32,  were  detached  from  Renville 
county  and  added  to  Meeker  county.  Since  then  the  boundaries 
of  the  county  have  remained  unchanged. 

On  February  29,  1872,  the  following  law  was  approved  by 
the  legi-slature :  '"Section  1.  That  townships  number  one  hun- 
dred and  fifteen  (115)  and  one  hundred  and  sixteen  (116)  north 
of  ranges  number  thirty-one  (31)  and  thirty-two  (32)  be  and  the 
same  are  hereby  detached  from  the  county  of  Renville  and  at- 
tached to  the  county  of  IVIcLeod ;  and  said  townships  shall  liere- 
after  form  and  be  a  part  of  said  county  of  ilcLeod. 


HISTORY  OF  EENVILLE  COUNTY  257 

■'Section  2.  At  the  time  of  giving  notice  of  the  next  general 
ek-ction,  it  shall  be  the  duty  of  the  officers  in  said  Renville  and 
lUcLeod  counties  required  by  law  to  give  notice  of  such  general 
t'.ection,  to  give  notice  in  like  manner,  that  at  said  election  a 
'.  ote  will  bo  taken  on  the  question  of  detaching  townships  num- 
ber one  hundred  and  fifteen  (115)  and  one  liundred  and  sixteen 
(116)  north,  of  ranges  number  thirty-one  (31)  and  thirty-two 
•'32)  from  Renville  county  and  attaching  the  same  to  the  said 
county  of  McLeod  in  accordance  with  the  provisions  of  this  act. 
At  said  election  the  voters  in  each  of  said  counties  in  favor 
of  detaching  said  townships  from  Renville  county  and  attaching 
the  same  to  McLeod  county  shall  have  distinctly  written  or 
printed  or  partly  written  or  partly  printed  on  their  ballots  the 
TFords,  'In  favor  of  detaching  said  townships  from  Renville 
county  and  attaching  the  same  to  McLeod  county:'  and  those  op- 
posed to  the  detaching  of  said  towns  from  Renville  county  and  at- 
taching the  same  to  McLeod  county  shall  have  distinctly  written 
or  printed  or  partly  written  and  partly  printed  on  their  ballots 
the  words,  'Against  detaching  said  townships  from  Renville 
county  and  attaching  the  same  to  McLeod  county.'  The  votes 
upon  said  question  shall  be  canvassed  in  the  same  manner  and 
the  returns  thereof  made  to  the  same  office  by  the  judges  of  elec- 
tion of  the  several  townships  in  Renville  and  McLeod  counties 
as  votes  for  county  officers. 

"Section  3.  The  county  officers  to  wliom  the  returns  are 
made,  in  each  of  said  counties,  shall,  within  ten  (10)  days  after 
said  election,  canvass  the  votes  returned  for  and  against  the 
detaching  said  townships  from  Renville  county,  and  attaching 
the  same  to  McLeod  county,  and  shall  forthwith  certify  the  re- 
sult of  such  canvass  to  the  governor,  who,  if  it  appears  that  a 
majority  of  all  the  voters  in  said  counties  shall  have  voted  in 
favor  thereof,  shall  make  proclamation  thereof  by  causing  to  be 
published  in  two  (2)  daily  newspapers  in  the  city  of  St.  Paul, 
that  the  detaching  of  said  townships  from  Renville  county  and 
attaching  the  same  to  McLeod  county  proposed  by  this  act 
has  been  ratified  by  a  majority  of  the  voters  of  said 
counties. ' ' 

The  proposition  was  rejected  by  the  voters. 

Birch  Cooley.  For  some  years  after  Renville  county  assumed 
its  present  boundaries  there  was  talk  of  changes  being  made.  Oct. 
1,  1894,  Governor  Knute  Nelson  issued  a  proclamation  directing 
the  voters  to  cast  their  votes  on  the  question  of  creating  a  new 
county  to  be  named  Birch  Cooley,  and  to  consist  of  the  townships 
of  Birch  Cooley,  Norfolk,  Palmyra,  Bandon,  Camp,  Brookfield. 
Hector,  Martinsburg,  Wellington.  Cairo,  Boon  Lake  and  Preston 
in  Renville  county,  and  Sevei-ance,  Grafton  and  Moltke  in  Sibley 
county.    The  proposition,  however,  never  came  to  vote. 


258-  HT^iTORY  OF  RFA-VILLE  COUNTY 

COUNTY  COMMISSIONERS. 

The  couuty  eoiiiiuissioiiers  since  1869  have  been  as  follows: 

1869 — Francis  Shoemaker,  Newell  Morse  and  William  Em- 
erick. 

1870— R.  G.  Weed,  E.  O'Hara  and  Louis  Kope. 

1871 — R.  G.  Weed,  Louis  Kope  and  Bernhardt  Marschner. 

1872 — Louis  Kope.  B.  Marschner,  Peter  Henry. 

1873 — B.  Marschner,  Peter  Henry  and  Ole  Jacobson. 

1874 — Peter  Henry.  Ole  Jacobson,  James  0"Brien,  M.  T.  Rid- 
out  and  T.  L.  Rudy. 

1875 — Fred  V.  Haas,  Wm.  F.  Grummons,  Peter  Henry,  Francis 
Shoemaker  and  Ole  Jacobson. 

1876 — Fred  V.  Haas,  William  F.  Grunnuons,  T.  H.  Sherwin, 
Owen  Heaney  and  Ole  Jacobson. 

1877 — William  F.  Grummons  (chairman).  Fnnl  \'.  Haas.  T.  H. 
Sherwin,  Owen  Heaney  and  Henry  Paulson.  July  16.  Arnold 
Vincent  took  the  place  of  Fred  V.  Haas  on  the  board. 

1878 — Henry  Paulson  (chairnmn),  T.  H.  Slierwin,  William  F. 
Grummons,  Owen  Heaney  and  Edmond  O'Hara.  On  July  16. 
1878,  J.  S.  Niles  took  the  place  of  Edmond  O'Hara.  On  Decem- 
ber 3,  1878,  an  unsuccessful  effort  was  made  to  unseat  William 
F.  Grummons.  on  the  grounds  tliat  he  had  removed  from  the 
district,  which  he  representetl. 

1879 — Henry  Paiilson  (chairman).  John  Thompson,  Thos. 
Leary.  Owen  Heaney  and  J.  S.  Niles. 

1880 — Henry  Paidson  (chairman).  John  Thompson.  Thos. 
Leary,  Owen  Heaney  and  J.  S.  Niles. 

1881 — John  Thompson  (chairman),  Henry  Paulson.  Owen 
Heaney,  Thomas  Leary  and  Owen  Carrigan. 

1882 — Thomas  Leary  (chairman),  Henry  Paulson,  Owen 
Heaney,  Owen  Carrigan  and  Louis  Tennis. 

1883 — Owen  Carrigan  (chairman),  Henry  Schafer,  Peter  P. 
Dustrud,  Thomas  Leary,  Lewis  L.  Tennis.  In  May.  1883.  ]\Ir.  Dus- 
trud  resigned  and  Peter  G.  Peterson  was  appointed. 

188-1 — Lewis  L.  Tennis  (chairman),  Owen  Carrigan.  Thomas 
Leary,  Henry  Schafer  and  John  Johnson. 

1885 — Henry  Schafer  (chairman),  Owen  Cai-rigan.  John 
Johnson.  Gunerus  Peterson  and  J.  H.  Reagan. 

1886 — Owen  Carrigan  (chairman).  Henry  Schafer,  J.  H.  Rea- 
gan, Gunerus  Peterson  and  John  Johnson. 

1887 — Henry  Schafer  (chairman),  John  Hurst,  Julius  Tliomp- 
f>on.  Patrick  Williams  and  A.  H.  Anderson. 

1888 — John  Thompson  (chairman),  John  Hui-st,  Patrick  Wil- 
liams, A.  H.  Anderson  and  Henry  Schafer. 

1889 — John  Thompson  (chairman),  John  Warnci'.  O.  F.  Peter- 
^(■n.  Patrick  Williams  and  A.  H.  Anderson. 


HISTORY  OF  liE.WlLLE  COUNTY  a"i!» 

» 

1890 — A.   II.    Aiiderson    (chainiian),    .loliii    Tliompsoii,    O.    F. 

Peterson,  John  Warner  and  Patrick  Williams. 

1891—0.  F.  Peterson  (eliainnan),  Patrick  Williams,  A.  H. 
Anderson,  Thj'ke  Ytterboc  and  John  Warner. 

1892 — A.  11.  Anderson  (chairman),  O.  F.  Peterson,  Thyke 
Utterboe,  Patrick  Williams  and   John  Warner. 

1893—1,  E.  J.  Butler ;  2,  Thyke  E.  Ytterboe ;  3,  A.  D.  Corey ; 
4.  John  Warner;  5,  A.  H.  Anderson. 

1895—1,  E.  J.  Butler;  2,  A.  J.  Anderson;  3,  A.  D.  Corey;  4, 
Ferdinand  Schroeder;  5,  A.  H.  Anderson. 

1897—1,  E.  J.  Butler;  2,  A.  J.  Anderson:  3,  C.  A.  Desmond; 
4,  F.  A.  Schroeder ;  5,  John  I.  Johnson. 

1899—1,  E.  J.  Butler;  2,  Norman  Hickok ;  3,  C.  A.  Desmond ;  4, 
F.  A.  Schroeder;  5,  John  I.  Johnson. 

1901—1,  W.  E.  Kemp ;  2,  Norman  Hickok ;  3,  W.  C.  Keefe ;  4, 
F.  A.  Scluoeder;  5,  Carl  Anderson. 

1903—1,  W.  E.  Kemp;  2,  Ole  S.  Olson;  3,  W.  C.  Keefe;  4,  M. 
E.  Sherin;  5,  Carl  Anderson. 

1905—1,  B.  C.  McEwen  ;  2,  Ole  S.  Olson  ;  3,  Julius  Patzewold  ; 
4,  M.  E.  Sherin;  5,  Carl  Anderson. 

1907 — 2,  Chas.  Lammers;  1,  B.  C.  McEwen;  3,  Julius  Patze- 
wold ;  4,  M.  E.  Sherin ;  5,  Carl  Anderson. 

1909—1,  B.  C.  McEwen;  2,  Chas.  Lammers;  3,  Julius  Patze- 
wold ;  4,  I\I.  E.  Sherin ;  5,  Carl  Anderson. 

1911 — 1,  B.  C.  ilcEwen ;  2,  Chas.  Lammers;  3,  Julius  Patze- 
wdld ;  4,  M.  E.  Sherin;  5,  Carl  Anderson. 

1913—1,  J.  U.  Ilougland;  2,  Chas.  Lammers;  3,  John  Ederer; 
4,  M.  E.  Sherin ;  5,  R.  II.  Nelson. 

1915 — 1,  J.  U.  Hougland;  2,  Chas.  Lammers;  3,  John  Ederer; 

4,  M.  E.  Sherin:  5,  R,  H.  Nelson,  Edward  Paulson.  R.  H.  Nelson 
resigned  June  1,  1915,  and  died  July  21,  191."). 

COUNTY  OFFICERS. 

Auditor.  Charles  K.  Eldridge  was  elected  auditor  of  Ren- 
ville county  in  the  fall  of  1866.  January  15,  1868,  he  resigned, 
and  Carter  H.  Drew  was  ajjpointed.    In  the  fall  of  1868,  Darwin 

5.  Hall  was  elected.  He  served  four  years.  Eric  Ericson  was 
elected  in  the  fall  of  1872.  lie  was  suspended  bj'  the  Governor, 
August  20,  1878,  upon  complaint  of  II.  M.  Kno.x,  .state  examiner. 
September  3,  1878,  Patrick  H.  Kerwan  was  appointed  by  the 
county  commissioners.  He  served  until  January  1,  1891.  Ed. 
De  Pue,  the  next  auditor,  served  from  January  1,  1891,  to  Janu- 
ary 1,  1895;  J.  T.  Brooks,  from  January  1,  1895,  to  January  1, 
1903;  H.  J.  Lee,  from  January  1,  1903,  to  January  1,  ]!)0f).  J.  L. 
Johnscin  has  seivi'd  since  January  1,  1909. 

Register  of  Deeds.  Robert  W.  Davis  was  elected  register  of 
deeds  of  Renville  county  in  the  fall   of  1866.     William  F.  Van 


260  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

Dej-n  was  elected  in  the  fall  of  1870.  As  it  was  discovered  after 
a  while  that  he  was  not  a  citizen,  an  act  legalizing  his  act  was 
passed  by  the  legislature  February  26,  1872.  He  removed  from 
the  county  and  on  October  2,  1871,  James  S.  Chapman  was  ap- 
pointed. He  was  elected  in  the  fall  of  1872.  In  the  fall  of  1874. 
William  W.  McGowan  was  elected.  Carl  A.  IMork  was  elected 
in  the  fall  of  1876.  In  the  fall  of  1882,  Bradner  A.  Knapp  was 
elected.  Gunerus  Peterson  was  elected  in  the  fall  of  1886.  He 
served  until  January  1,  1891.  P.  B.  Olson  served  from  January 
1,  1891,  to  January  1,  1895;  Peter  Erickson  from  January  1, 
1895,  to  January  1,  1901;  Theo.  A.  Nellermoe  from  January  1, 
1901,  to  January  1,  1905.  T.  H.  Collyer  has  served  since  January 
1.  1905. 

Treasurer.  Henry  Ahrens  was  elected  treasurer  of  Renville 
county  in  the  fall  of  1866.  Hans  Gronnerud  was  elected  in  the 
fall  of  1872.  In  the  fall  of  1884,  William  D.  Griffith  was  elected. 
Hans  Listerud  was  elected  in  the  fall  of  1886,  and  served  iintil 
January  1,  1891.  Frank  Poseley  was  treasurer  from  January  1, 
1891,  to  January  1,  1893.  Then  Hans  Listerud  was  treasurer 
again  from  January  1,  1893,  to  January  1,  1901 ;  then  William  D. 
Griffith  was  again  treasurer  from  January  1,  1901,  to  Januarj'  1, 
1913.     Since  Januarj'  1,  1913,  Amiuid  Dahl  has  been  in  office. 

Sheriff.  James  W.  Graves  was  elected  sheriff  of  Renville 
county  in  the  fall  of  1866.  When  the  commissioners  met,  April 
4.  1867,  he  had  not  qualified,  so  James  Carrothers  was  appointed. 
However,  a  short  time  afterward,  Mr.  Graves  qualified,  and  served 
several  months.  He  resigned  and  on  November  30,  1867,  Henry 
J.  Witcher  was  appointed.  In  the  fall  of  1868,  W.  H.  Jewell  was 
elected.  James  Carrothers  was  elected  in  the  fall  of  1870.  He 
resigned,  but  his  resignation  was  not  accepted.  He  left  the 
county,  however,  and  on  February  21,  1872,  the  office  was  de- 
clared vacant.  The  next  day,  Jerome  P.  Patten  was  appointed. 
James  Arnold  was  elected  in  the  fall  of  1872.  In  the  summer  of 
1874  he  removed  to  New  Ulm,  and  July  29,  1874,  Martin  Jensen 
was  appointed.  He  served  for  many  years.  Hans  0.  Field  was 
elected  in  the  fall  of  1882  and  served  until  January  1,  1891. 
William  Wichman  served  from  January  1,  1891,  to  January  1, 
1901;  N.  L.  Headline  from  January  1,  1901,  to  January  1,  1907; 
John  A.  Vick  from  January  1,  1907,  to  January  1,  1913.  0.  T. 
Sunde  has  served  since  January  1,  1913. 

Judg'e  of  Probate.  Nelson  Frazier  was  elected  judge  of  pro- 
bate in  the  fall  of  1866.  George  Bowers  was  appointed  April 
4,  1867.  He  was  followed  by  N.  D.  White,  who  in  turn  was 
followed  by  Moses  Little.  George  H.  Megquier  was  elected  in 
the  fall  of  1873.  He  tendered  his  resignation  to  the  board  of 
county  commissioners,  April  7,  1874,  but  that  board  doubted 
•whether  it  had  the  power  to  accept  or  the  power  to  appoint  a  sue- 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  261 

eessor.  "William  W.  IMcGowaii  was  eleetod  in  the  fall  of  1875; 
Hans  Groimerud  in  the  fall  of  1879;  Jolin  Gam-ity  in  the  fall  of 
Ls8(i:  Francis  .Shoemaker  in  the  fall  of  1888:  .lolui  Garrity  in  the 
fall  of  1890  again;  Perry  "W.  Glenn  in  tlie  fall  of  1894;  and  George 
P.  Gage  in  thf  fall  of  1902.  Pjiarles  N.  llattson  has  serv<'d  sinee 
Jannary  1,  1911. 

County  Attorney.  The  records  are  somewhat  vague  regard- 
ing the  early  county  attorneys.  It  appears  that,  "a  vacancy  ex- 
isting," P.  II.  Swift  was  appointed  September  1,  1868.  Appar- 
ently John  M.  Doniioii  was  elected  in  the  fall  of  1870.  He  re- 
signed and  G.  II.  .Megcpiicr  was  appointed.  S.  R.  31iller  was 
elected  in  the  fall  of  18K):  (iahriel  T.  Christianson  in  the  fall  of 
1882;  S.  R.  :MilIer  again  in  the  fall  of  1884.  In  the  fall  of  1886, 
Gabriel  T.  Cliristianson  was  again  elected,  and  served  until 
January  1,  1891.  Sinee  then  the  attorneys  have  been:  R.  T. 
Daly,  Jannary  1.  1891,  to  Jannary  1.  1893;  S.  R.  Miller,  January 
1,  1893,  to  January  1.  1899:  A.  V.  Rieke,  January  1,  1899.  to  Jan- 
uary 1,  1903:  Fi-ank  :Murray,  January  1,  1903  to  January  1.  1911. 
L.  D.  Barnar.l  has  served  sinee  January  1,  1911. 

Clerk  of  the  District  Court.  Edward  Trevett  Tillotsou  was 
elected  elerk  of  the  distric't  coui't  in  the  fall  of  1866.  Lane  K. 
Stone  Avas  elected  in  the  fall  of  1869.  Darwin  S.  Hall  was  ap- 
pointed November  30.  1872,  by  Judge  ]M.  G.  Ilanseom.  He  was 
elected  in  the  fall  of  1873  and  1877,  but  resigned  March  6,  1878, 
being  succeeded  by  William  W.  McGowan,  who  was  appointed 
by  E.  St.  Julien  Cox,  district  .judge.  William  AV.  McGowan  was 
elected  in  the  fall  of  1878,  and  served  a  long  tci-m,  retiring  Jan- 
uary 1,  1895.  Following  him  came  E.  E.  Cook.  January  1,  1895, 
to  i\rarch  30.  1902;  Carl  O.  Brecke,  appointed  liy  Judge  Gorhara 
Powers,  April  3,  1902;  elected  January  1,  1903,  to  January  1, 
1907;  and  A.  P.  Heaney,  .lauuaiy  1,  1907,  to  January  1.  1911.  C. 
O.  liicckc  took  office  Jamuiry  1,  1911,  and  is  still  serving. 

Surveyor.  In  the  eai-ly  days  surveyors  and  viewers  were  ap- 
pointed tor  each  road  oi-dered  laid  out.  Marlow  S.  Spicer  was 
elected  county  surveyor  in  tiie  fall  of  1866.  Possibly  Charles  G. 
Johnson  was  ihe  next  county  surveyor.  At  least  he  was  serv- 
ing in  the  early  eighties.  J.  C.  Garland  served  in  1874;  Marlow 
S.  Spicer  from  .Taiuiary  1.  188.'),  to  January  1,  1889,  and  E.  A. 
Dieter  from  January  1,  1899  to  January  1,  1901,  but  with  these 
exceptions  Mr.  Johnson  served  until  January  1.  1911.  .lolin  A. 
Dahlgren  served  from  January  1,  1911.  to  January  1,  191.").  and 
T.  S.  Hewcrdine  has  served  since  January  1,  1915. 

Coroner.  Jacob  Hawkins  was  elected  coroner  in  the  lall  of 
1866.  He  did  not  ((ualify,  and  .Tames  Butler  Avas  appointed  Ai)ril 
4,  1867.  Francis  Shocnuiker  was  appointed  March  19,  1870.  In 
the  fall  of  tliat  year.  Dr.  T.  H.  Sherwin  Avas  elected.  Dr.  F.  L. 
Puffer  was  elected   in  the  fall   of  1878.     Since  then  tlie  coroners 


262  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

have  been :  Jauuary  1,  1883,  to  Jaiuiary  1,  1887,  Dr.  A.  G.  Stod- 
dard; January  1,  1887,  to  January  ].  1889,  Dr.  Willis  Clay;  Janu- 
ary 1,  1889,  to  January  1,  1891,  Dr.  W.  Smalley ;  January  1, 
1891,  to  January  1,  1893,  Dr.  A.  G.  Stoddard;  January  1.  1893,  to 
January  1,  1895.  W.  H.  Jewell ;  Jauuary  1,  1895,  to  January  1, 
1897,  Dr.  E.  M.  Clay;  January  1,  1897,  to  January  1,  1903,  A.  G. 
Stoddard,  M.  D. ;  January  1,  1903.  to  January  1,  1911,.  E.  M. 
Clay,  M.  D. ;  January  1,  1911,  to  January  1,  1918.  Harry  L.  D'Arms, 
]\I.  D.;  January  1,  1913,  to  January  1,  1915,  F.  W.  Penhall,  M.  D. ; 
Januai-y  ].  191.^.  to  January  1.  ]919.  A.  A.  Passer,  M.  D. 

Superintendent  of  Schools,  ilarlow  S.  Spieer  was  appointed 
superintendent  of  schools  April  i.  1867.  William  Emerick  took 
olBce  January  6,  1870 :  Carter  H.  Drew,  January  1,  1872.  He  was 
followed  by  G.  II.  ilegquier.  In  1877,  J.  S.  Bowler  served.  Iver 
S.  Gerald  was  the  superintendent  in  the  years  1878,  1879,  1880, 
1881.  1882  and  1883.  Eric  Ericson  took  office  in  1884  and  served 
until  January  1,  1891.  Following  liiiii  came  F.  C.  Greene  for  two 
years.  Then  Mr.  Ericson  served  for  four  years.  F.  A.  Schatfer 
served  from  January  1,  1907,  to  January  1,  1915.  Ainalia  M. 
Bengtson  has  served  since  January  1,  1915. 

Court  Commissioner.  Jolm  M.  Dorman  filed  his  bond  as  coui't 
commissioner  January  6,  1871.  C.  H.  Drew  took  the  office  ilay  31, 
1877.  James  Greely  was  appointed  July  25,  1881.  Hein-y  Kelsey 
was  elected  in  the  fall  of  1881.  He  served  until  January  1,  1893. 
Then  came  J.  J.  Durrell  from  January  1,  1893,  to  January  1,  1895; 
followed  by  John  j\I.  Freeman,  January  1,  1895.  His  unexj^ired 
term  was  filled  by  Henry  Ahrens,  who  was  followed  by  John  Kellej-. 
S.  R.  Miller  took  office  January  1,  1905,  and  has  held  the  office 
contiiniouslv  since  that  time. 


CHAPTER  XVII. 
COUNTY  REPRESENTATION. 

Territory  Organized — Council  Districts — Territorial  Legislature 
— Renville  in  the  Sixth,  Seventh  and  Tenth  Council  Districts — 
Constitutional  Convention — State  Legislature — Members  Who 
Have  Represented  Renville  County — Congressional  Represen- 
tation. 

Alexander  Ramsey,  of  Pennsylvania,  then  only  thirty-four 
years  of  age,  was  appointed  by  President  Taylor  the  first  gov- 
ernor of  the  new  territory  of  JMinnesota.  His  previous  public 
experience  had  been  as  a  member  of  the  Twenty-eighth  and  Twen- 
ty-ninth congresses,  in  which  he  had  displayed  the  sterling  qual- 
ities and  the  marked  ability  which  characterized  his  long  after- 
career.    From  the  time  of  his  coming  to  Minnesota  until  the  close 


EENVILLE  COUNTY  COURT   HOUSE 


THv  ^'^••v  YO^K 
FUflLiC   LIBHARY 


iSTOR.   LENOX  \ND 
TILDEN    *0(;ND>tTIONS 


^  4 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  263 

of  his  life  he  remained  one  of  its  most  loyal  ami  honored  citizens, 
filliii<j  man\-  imjioi-taiit  positions  both  in  tlie  state  and  the  nation. 
He  arrived  in  St.  Paid,  Jlay  liT,  1849,  and  the  hotels  beinf?  fnll 
to  overflowing  proceeded  w  itli  Ins  family  to  Mendota,  a  fur  trad- 
ing station  at  the  jiniction  of  the  Mississippi  and  Miiuiosota  i-ivers, 
where  he  beeame  the  guest  of  Heni-y  II.  Sibley,  remaining  there 
until  June  26. 

On  the  first  of  June  he  issued  a  proclamation,  said  to  have 
been  prepared  in  a  small  room  in  Bass's  log  tavern  which  stood 
on  the  site  now  occupied  by  the  Merchant's  Hotel,  making  official 
announcement  of  the  oi'ganization  of  the  territory,  with  the  fol- 
lowing officers:  Governor,  Alexander  Ramsey,  of  Pennsylvania; 
secretary,  C.  K.  Smith,  of  Ohio ;  chief  justice,  Aaron  Goodrich, 
of  Tennessee :  associate  justices,  David  Cooper,  of  Pennsylvania, 
and  Bradley  B.  Meeker,  of  Kentucky:  United  States  marshal, 
Joshua  L.  Taylor;  United  States  attorney,  H.  L.  Moss.  Mr.  Tay- 
lor, having  declined  to  accept  the  office  of  marshal,  A.  M.  Mitchell, 
of  Ohio,  a  graduate  of  West  Point,  and  colonel  of  an  Ohio  regi- 
meikt  in  the  Mexican  war,  was  ap{)ointcd  to  tlie  position  and  ar- 
rived in  August. 

A  second  proclamation,  issued  by  Governor  Ramsey,  June  11, 
divided  the  territory  into  three  judicial  districts,  to  which  the 
three  judges,  who  had  been  appointed  by  the  president,  were  as- 
signed. The  present  Renville  county  was  included  in  the  Second 
district,  which  comprised  the  county  of  La  Pointe  (a  former 
Wisconsin  county)  and  the  i'i'gi(ui  north  and  west  of  the  Missis- 
sippi and  north  of  the  Minnesota  and  a  line  ruiuiiug  due  west 
from  the  headwaters  of  the  Minnesota  to  the  Missoui-i  river,  and 
over  this  district  Judge  Meeker  presided. 

The  census  of  the  territory  taken  in  1849  by  an  order  of 
Governor  Ramsey  issued  June  1],  although  inchuling  the  soldiers 
at  the  fort  and  pretty  much  every  living  soid  in  the  territory 
except  Indians,  footed  up  the  disappointing  total  of  4,764 — of 
which  number  3,0.58  were  males  and  1,706  were  fenudes.  Addi- 
tional and  revised  retin-ns  made  the  jjopulation  exactly  5,000 — 
males,  3,253 ;  females,  1,747. 

Another  proclamation  issm-d  duly  7,  1849,  divided  the  terri- 
tory into  seven  council  districts  and  ordered  an  election  to  be  held 
August  1  to  choose  one  delegate  to  the  house  of  representatives 
at  Washington,  and  nine  councillors  and  eighteen  representatives 
to  constitute  the  legislative  assembly  of  Minnesota.  The  election 
passed  off  very  quietly,  politics  entering  scarcely  at  all  into  the 
contests,  which  were  wholly  personal.  In  all  682  votes  were  cast 
for  the  delegate  to  congress,  Henry  H.  Sibley,  who  was  elected 
without  opposition. 

The  council  districts  were  described  in  Ramsey's  proclamation 
as  follows:    "No.  1.     The  St.  Croix  precinct  of  St.  Croix  county, 


264  HISTORY  OF  EEXVILLE  C(  tUXTY 

and  the  settlements  on  the  Avest  bank  of  the  ^Mississippi  south  of 
Crow  village  to  the  Iowa  line.  2.  The  Stilhvater  precinct  of  the 
county  of  St.  Croix.  3.  The  St.  Paul  precinct  (except  Little 
Canada  settlement).  4.  Marine  Mills.  Falls  of  St.  Croix,  Rush 
Lake,  Rice  River  and  Snake  River  precincts,  of  St.  Croix  county 
and  La  Pointe  county.  5.  The  Falls  of  St.  Anthony  precinct  and 
the  Little  Canada  settlement.  6.  The  Sauk  Rapids  and  Crow 
Wing  precincts,  of  St.  Croix  county,  and  all  settlements  west  of 
the  Mississippi  and  north  of  the  Osakis  river,  and  a  line  thence 
west  to  the  British  line.  7.  The  country  and  settlements  west  of 
the  Mississippi,  not  included  in  districts  1  and  6.  The  territory 
now  embraced  in  Renville  county  was  included  in  the  Seventh 
district,  which  generally  speaking  included  all  the  territory  be- 
tween the  Sauk  and  the  Minnesota  rivers  and  westward,  but  none 
of  the  settlements  on  the  west  bank  of  the  Mississippi  except  such 
as  might  be  found  north  of  the  settlements  near  St.  Anthony 
Falls  and  south  of  the  mouth  of  Sauk  river. 

1849 — The  first  territorial  legislature — called  the  territorial 
assembly — met  Monday,  September  3,  in  the  Central  Hous«,  St. 
Paul,  a  large  log  building  weathei-boarded,  which  served  both  as 
a  state  house  and  a  hotel.  It  stood  on  practically  the  present  site 
of  the  Mannheimer  block.  On  the  first  floor  of  the  main  building 
was  the  secretary's  office  and  the  dining  room  was  occupied  as 
the  Representatives'  chamber.  As  the  hour  for  dinner  or  supper 
approached  the  House  had  to  adjourn  to  give  the  servants  an  op- 
portunity to  make  the  necessary  preparations  for  serving  the 
meal.  In  the  ladies'  parlor  on  the  second  floor  the  Council  con- 
vened for  their  deliberations.  The  legislature  halls  were  not  to 
exceed  eighteen  feet  square.  Governor  Ramsey,  during  his  entire 
term  of  ofSce,  had  his  executive  office  in  his  private  residence,  and 
the  supreme  court  shifted  from  place  to  place  as  rooms  could  be 
rented  for  its  use.  Although  congress  had  appropriated  .$20,000 
for  the  erection  of  a  eapitol,  the  money  could  not  be  used  as  "a 
permanent  seat  of  government"  for  the  territory  had  not  yet  been 
selected,  so  the  machinery  of  government  had  to  be  carted  around 
in  the  most  undignified  manner.  The  Seventh  district  was  repre- 
sented in  the  council  by  IMartin  McLeod,  of  Lac  qui  Parle ;  and  in 
the  house  of  Alexis  Bailly.  of  ilendota,  and  Gideon  H.  Pond,  of 
Oak  Grove. 

1851 — The  second  territorial  legislature  met  January  1  and 
adjourned  March  31.  Martin  !McLeod  again  represented  the 
Seventh  district  in  the  council;  while  in  the  house  were  Alex- 
ander Faribault,  of  Mendota,  and  B.  H.  Randall,  of  Fort  Snelling. 

The  territory,  having  been  divided  into  counties,  it  was  ap- 
portioned by  the  second  territorial  legislature  (1851)  into  seven 
districts.  Dakota  county,  which  included  the  present  Renville 
county,  was  the  sixth  district. 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  265 

1852 — The  third  territoi-ial  li'-rislature  assembled  January  7 
and  adjourned  ]\Iareh  6.  The  Sixth  district  Avas  represented 
in  the  council  by  Martin  ]MeLeod,  of  Oak  Grove ;  and  in  the  house 
by  James  McBoal,  of  Mendota,  and  B.  H.  Randall,  of  Ft.  Snelling. 

1853 — Tlie  fourth  territorial  legislature  asseiid)led  January  5 
and  adjourneil  IMarch  5.  The  Sixth  district  was  again  represented 
in  the  council  by  Martin  McLeod.  i!.  H.  Randall  was  again  in 
the  house  and  the  new  member  from  the  Sixth  district  was  A.  E. 
Ames.  This  legislature  changed  the  boundary  lines  of  certain 
counties  and  created  certain  new  counties.  The  present  Renville 
county  fell  in  Pierce  and  Nicollet  counties.  In  sjjite  of  these 
changes  in  county  lines,  the  boundarii's  of  the  legislative  districts 
remained  the  same. 

Franklin  Pierce  having  been  elected  president  of  the  I'liited 
States  in  the  previous  November.  ]n'oiiiptly  [iroceeded  after  his 
inauguration,  in  accordance  with  the  good  old  Jacksonian  doe- 
trine,  to  remove  the  Whig  officehohiei-s  and  distribute  the  sjioils 
among  the  victors.  The  ncAv  territorial  appointees  were  :  (Jov- 
ernor,  Willis  A.  Gorman,  of  Indiana:  secretary,  J.  T.  Kosser,  of 
Virginia:  chief  justice,  W.  II.  Welch,  of  Minnesota;  associates, 
Moses  Sherburne,  of  Maine;  and  A.  (i.  Cliattield,  of  Wisconsin. 
Soon  after  entering  on  the  duties  of  his  otifiee.  Governor  Gorman 
concluded  a  treaty  at  Watab  with  the  Winnebago  Indians  for  an 
exchange  of  territory.  At  the  election  in  Oi-tohci-  llenr>-  ^F. 
Rice  was  elected  delegate  to  Congress. 

18.54 — In  1854  the  legislature  of  Minnesota  for  the  first  time 
assembled  in  a  regular  capitol  building,  its  i)revioiis  sessions 
having  been  held  haphazard  wherever  accommodations  could  be 
liad.  This  building,  which  was  started  as  early  as  1851,  was  totally 
destroyed  bj-  tire  on  the  evening  of  ilarch  1,  1881,  while  both 
branches  of  the  legislature  were  in  session.  Some  of  the  more 
valuable  papers  in  the  various  oftices  were  saved,  but  tiie  law 
library  and  many  thousands  of  documents  and  repoi'ts  were 
burned.  The  total  loss  was  about  .$20(),()(X).  The  present  ''Old 
Capitol"  was  erected  on  the  site  of  the  first  luulding.  The 
fifth  session  assembled  January  4  and  adjourned  ilarch  4.  The 
Sixth  district  was  represented  in  the  council  by  Joseph  R. 
Brown;  and  in  the  house  by  Hezekiah  Fletcher  and  William  H. 
Nobles. 

185.5 — The  sixth  territorial  legislature  assemblrd  .hmuai-y  .3 
and  adjourned  Mai'ch  3.  Joseph  K.  Brown  again  i-epresented  the 
Sixth  district  in  the  council,  and  Henry  II.  Sibley  and  D.  M. 
Hanson  represented  the  district  in  the  house.  It  was  this  legis- 
lature that  created  Renville  countx'. 

By  the  apportionment  of  1855  Renville  count\-  was  placed  in 
the  Tenth  district  with  Le  Sueur,  Steele,  Faribault.  Blue  Earth, 
Brown,  Nicollft.  Sibley  ami  Pierce. 


266  HISTORY  OF  KENYILLE  COUNTY 

1856 — The  seveiitli  territorial  legislature  asseiubled  January  2 
and  adjourned  Mareh  1.  The  Tenth  distriet  was  represented  in 
the  council  by  C.  E.  Flandrau  and  in  the  house  by  Parsons  K. 
Johnson,  Aurelius  F.  de  La  Yergne  and  George  A.  iloLeod. 

1857 — The  eighth  and  last  territorial  legislature  assembled 
January  7  and  adjournetl  ilarch  7.  The  extra  session  lasted 
from  April  27  to  May  20.  The  Tenth  district  was  represented 
in  the  council  by  P.  P.  Humphrey  and  in  the  house  by  Joseph  R. 
Brown.  Francis  Baasen  and  0.  A.  Thomas. 

CONSTITUTIONAL   CONVENTION. 

March  3,  1857.  congress  passed  an  act  authorizing  the  people 
of  Minnesota  to  form  a  state  constitution.  Each  council  district 
was  to  be  represented  in  this  convention  by  two  representatives 
for  each  councilman  and  representative  to  which  it  was  entitled. 
The  constitutional  convention,  consisting  of  108  members,  was 
authorized  to  meet  at  the  capital  on  the  second  ilonday  in  July, 
to  frame  a  state  constitution  and  submit  it  to  the  people  of  the 
territory.  The  election  was  held  on  the  first  ]\Ionday  in  June, 
1857.  July  13  the  delegates  met  but,  a  disagreement  arising  in 
the  organization,  the  Republican  members  organized  one  body 
and  the  Democrats  another,  tifty-nine  delegates  being  given  seats 
in  the  former  and  fifty-three  in  the  latter,  making  112  in  all. 
Each  of  these  bodies,  claiming  to  be  the  legally  constituted  con- 
vention, proceeded  with  the  W'Ork  of  formulating  an  instrument 
to  be  submitted  to  the  people.  After  some  days  au  understand- 
ing was  effected  between  them,  and  by  means  of  a  committee  of 
conference,  the  same  constitution  was  framed  and  adopted  by 
both  bodies.  On  being  submitted  to  the  people,  October  13,  1857, 
it  was  ratified. 

The  Tenth  district  was  represented  in  the  Republican  wing  by 
Amos  Cogswell,  Lewis  McKune,  and  Edwin  Page  Davis.  On  the 
Democratic  side,  from  the  Tenth  district,  sat :  Joseph  R.  Brown, 
C.  E.  Flandrau,  Francis  Baasen.  William  B.  ilcilahon,  and  J.  B. 
Swan. 

The  history  of  this  convention  is  so  graphicall.y  given  by 
W.  H.  C.  Folsom,  who  was  one  of  its  members,  in  his  interesting 
volume,  "Fifty  Years  in  the  Northwest,'"  that  we  quote  it  almost 
entire : 

"The  state  was  nearly  equally  divided  between  the  Repub- 
licans and  Democrats,  still  the  question  of  politics  did  not  enter 
largely  into  the  contest  except  as  a  question  of  party  supremacy. 
The  people  were  a  unit  on  the  question  of  organizing  a  state 
government  under  the  enabling  act  and  in  many  cases  there  was 
but  a  single  ticket  in  the  field.  It  was  a  matter,  therefore,  of 
some  surprise  that  there  should  be  a  separation  among  the  dele- 
gates into  opposing  factions,  resulting  practically  in  the  forma- 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  267 

tion  of  two  conventions,  each  claiming  to  represent  the  people  and 
each  proposing;  a  constitution.  The  delegates,  althoiiisrh  but  108 
were  called,  were  numbered  on  the  rolls  of  the  two  wings  as  59 
Republican  and  53  Democratic,  a  discrepancy  arising  from  some 
irregularity  of  em-ollment,  by  which  certain  memberships  were 
counted  twice.  The  Republican  members,  elaiuiing  a  bare  ma- 
jority, took  possession  of  the  hall  at  midnight,  twelve  hours  before 
the  legal  time  for  opening  the  convention,  the  object  being  to 
obtain  control  of  the  offices  and  connnittees  of  the  convention,  a 
manifest  advantage  in  tlie  matter  of  d(?ciding  upon  contested 
seats. 

"In  obedience  to  the  call  <if  the  leaders  of  the  party,  issued 
the  day  before,  the  writer,  with  other  Republicans,  repaired  to 
the  house  at  the  appointed  hour,  produced  his  credentials  as  a 
delegate,  and  was  conducted  into  the  illuminated  hall  of  Hon. 
John  W.  North.  The  delegates  were  dispersed  variously  about 
the  hall,  some  chatting  together,  others  reading  newspapers, 
smoking  or  snoring,  and  here  and  there  one  had  fallen  asleep  in 
his  seat.  Occasionally  a  delegate  nervously  examined  his  revolver 
as  if  he  anticipated  some  necessity  for  its  use. 

"The  Democratic  delegates  were  elsewhere,  probably  iilotting 
in  secret  conclave  to  capture  the  hall,  and  perhaps  it  might  be 
well  enough  to  be  i)repared  for  the  worst.  Thus  the  remainder 
of  the  night  passed  and  the  forenoon  of  July  13.  As  soon  as  the 
clock  struck  twelve  the  Deiuocratic  delegates  rushed  tiiinultu- 
ously  in,  as  if  with  the  purpose  of  capturing  the  speaker's  stand. 
That,  however,  was  already  occupied  by  the  Republican  dele- 
gates and  the  storming  party  was  obliged  to  content  itself  with 
the  lower  steps  of  tlie  stand.  Both  parties  at  the  moment  the 
clock  ceased  striking  were  .yelling  "order"  vociferously,  and 
nominating  tlieir  ofTfieers  pro  tem.  Both  parties  effected  a  tem- 
porary organization,  although  in  tlie  ui)roar  and  confusion  it  was 
difficult  to  know  what  was  done. 

"The  Democratic  wing  adjourned  at  once  to  the  senate  cham- 
ber and  tlicro  eifocted  a  permanent  organization.  Tlie  Repub- 
licans, being  left  in  undisturbed  possession  of  the  hall,  perfected 
their  organization,  and  the  two  factions  set  themselves  diligently 
to  work  to  frame  a  constitution,  each  claiiinng  to  be  the  legally 
constituted  convention,  and  expecting  recognition  as  such  by  the 
people  of  the  state  and  congress.  The  debates  in  each  were  acri- 
monious. A  few  of  the  more  moderate  delegates  in  each  recog- 
nized the  absurdity  and  illegality  of  their  position  and  questioned 
the  j)ropriety  of  remaining  and  participating  in  proceedings 
which  they  could  not  sanction. 

"The  conventions  continued  their  sessions  iidianiioniously 
enough.  Each  framed  a  constitution,  at  the  completion  of  which 
a  joint  comnuttee  was  appointed  to  revise  and  harmonize  the  two 


268  HISTORY  OF  REXVTI.LE  ('( )T-XTY 

coustitvitions,  but  the  members  of  the  committees  were  as  bellig- 
erent as  tlie  conventions  thej^  represented.  Members  grew  angry, 
abusing  each  other  with  Avords  and  even  blows,  blood  being 
drawn  in  an  argument  with  bludgeons  between  two  of  the  dele- 
gates. An  agreement  seemed  impossible,  when  some  one  whose 
name  has  not  found  its  way  into  history,  made  the  happy  sugges- 
tion that  alternate  articles  of  each  constitution  be  adopted. 
When  this  was  done,  and  the  joint  jiroduction  of  the  two  conven- 
tions was  in  presentable  shape,  another  and  almost  fatal  difficulty 
arose,  as  to  which  wing  should  be  accorded  the  honor  of  signing 
officially  this  remarkable  document.  One  bodj-  or  the  other  must 
acknowledge  the  paternity  of  the  hybrid.  Ingenuity  amounting 
to  genius  (it  is  a  pity  that  the  possessor  sho\ild  be  unknown) 
found  a  new  expedient,  namely,  to  write  out  two  constitutions  in 
full,  exact  duj^licates  exee^jt  as  to  signatures,  the  one  to  be 
signed  by  Democratic  officers  and  members  and  the  other  by  Re- 
publicans. These  two  constitutions  were  filed  in  the  archives 
of  the  state  and  one  of  them,  wliich  one  will  probably  never  be 
known,  was  adopted  by  the  people  October  13,  1857."" 

]Mr.  Folsom  is  slightly  in  error.  The  enabling  act  did  not 
specify  any  hour  for  the  meeting  of  tlie  convention,  nor  did  it 
designate  any  definite  place  in  tbc  caiiitol  where  tlie  sessions 
should  be  lield,  both  of  which  oiiiissions  coutriliuted  to  tlic  con- 
fusion in  organization.  W.  W.  P^olwell,  iu  his  ■■History  of  ;\Iin- 
nesota,"  narrates  the  preliminaries  as  follows:  "To  make  sure 
of  being  on  hand,  the  Republican  delegates  repaired  to  the  capitol 
late  on  the  Sunday  night  preceding  the  first  Monday  in  June  and 
remained  there,  as  one  of  tliciu  phrased  it,  'to  watcli  and  pray 
for  the  Democratic  bi'cthrcii.'  These  did  not  appear  till  a  few 
moments  before  twelve  o'clock  of  tlu'  ai)pointed  day.  Iiiinie- 
diately  upon  their  entrance  in  a  body  into  the  representatives' 
hall  Charles  R.  Chase,  seci'etary  of  tlie  tei-ritory  and  a  delegate, 
proceeded  to  the  speaker's  desk  and  called  to  order.  A  motion 
to  adjourn  was  made  by  ('olonel  Gorman,  and  the  question  was 
taken  by  Chase,  who  declared  it  carried.  The  Democrats  left 
the  hall  to  the  Republicans,  who  proceeded  to  organize  the  con- 
vention. Fifty-six  delegates  presented  credentials  in  proper  form 
and  took  their  oaths  to  support  the  constitution  of  the  United 
States.  At  noon  of  Tuesday  the  Democratic  delegates  assembled 
about  the  door  of  the  hall,  and  finding  it  occupied  by  citizens 
who  refused  to  give  them  ])lace,  met  in  the  adjacent  council  cham- 
ber and  proceeded  to  organize  the  convention.  Henry  H.  Sibley 
was  made  chairman,  on  motio}i  of  Josei)h  K.  Itrown,  and  later 
became  president  of  the  body." 

After  the  adjournment  of  the  constitutional  convention  the 
Republicans  and  Democrats  held  their  party  conventions,  each 
nominating  a  full  state  ticket  and  three  candidates  foi;  Congress. 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  269 

The  Republican  candidate  for  governor  was  Alexander  Ramsey 
and  tlip  Democrat  if  candidate  Henry  II.  Sibley.  The  election 
■was  held  October  IH,  1857,  the  constitution  being  adopted  b\'  an 
overwhelming  vote;  H.  H.  Sibley  was  elected  governor  by  a 
majority  of  only  240  in  a  total  of  35,240  votes,  and  the  Demo- 
crats had  a  small  majority  in  the  Icnfislaturc. 

STATE  REPRESENTATION. 

Tile  fii'st  ^Minnesota  state  legislature  assembled  December  2, 
1857.  Then'  was  a  serious  question,  however,  as  to  whether  it 
was  really  a  state  legislature,  as  Miiuiesota  had  not  yet  been 
admitted  to  the  Union.  There  was  a  question  as  to  the  recog- 
nition of  Samuel  Medary,  the  territoi-ial  governor,  as  governor 
of  the  state,  but  by  a  vote  of  59  to  49  he  was  so  recognized  by 
the  legislature,  and  he,  in  turn,  in  his  message  recognized  the 
law-making  body  as  a  state  legislature.  None  of  the  state  ofificers 
could  take  the  oath  of  office,  and  the  Republican  members  of  the 
legislature  entered  a  formal  protest  against  any  business  what- 
ever being  done  until  after  the  admission  of  the  state  as  a  member 
of  the  Union.  But  the  Democrats  having  a  majority,  decided  to 
hold  a  joint  convention  December  19  for  the  election  of  two 
United  States  senators.  Henry  M.  Rice  was  elected  for  the  long 
term  on  the  first  ballot,  but  it  was  not  until  after  several  ballot- 
iugs  that  General  James  Shields  won  the  short  term.  He  was  a 
ne^v  comer  from  Illinois  and  his  election  was  a  bitter  pill  for 
many  of  the  old  Democratic  war-horses,  such  as  Sibley,  Steele, 
Brown  and  Gorman. 

As  a  means  of  relieving  the  state  from  the  awkward  predica- 
ment in  which  it  was  placed  the  legislature  adopted  March  1 
an  amendment  to  the  constitution  authorizing  the  newly-elected 
officers  to  qualify  May  1,  whether  the  state  was  admitted  by  that 
date  or  not,  this  amoidment  to  be  submitted  to  the  voters  at  an 
election  called  for  April  15.  A  second  amendment,  submitted  at 
the  same  time,  provided  for  the  famous  $5,000,000  railroad  bond 
loan,  which  was  the  cause  of  great  loss  and  great  bitterness  to 
the  people.  Both  amendments  were  overwhelmingly  adopted, 
but  in  November,  1860,  the  bond  amendment  was  expunged  from 
the  constitution,  after  $2,275,000  bonds  had  been  issued.  The 
legislature,  March  25,  took  a  recess  until  June  2. 

In  the  meantime  the  steps  looking  toward  the  recognition  of 
Minnesota's  statehood  by  Congress  had  lagged  sadly.  For  some 
unknown  reason  President  Buchanan  had  delayed  until  the  mid- 
dle of  January,  1858,  transmitting  to  the  United  States  Senate  the 
constitution  adopted  by  the  people.  A  bill  for  the  admission  of 
Minnesota  as  a  state  Avas  introduced  by  Stephen  A.  Douglas, 
chairman  of  the  committee  on  territories.  "When  this  bill  came  up 
February  1,  there  was  a  prolonged  discussion,  a  number  of  the 


270  HISTORY  OP  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

seuators  being  in  opposition  because  it  would  add  another  to 
the  number  of  free  states,  thus  disturbing  the  ''balanee  of  pow- 
er" between  the  free  and  slave  states.  Among  those  participat- 
ing in  the  debate  were  Senators  Douglas.  Wilson,  Gwin,  Hale, 
Mason,  Green,  Brown  and  Crittenden,  the  latter  being  much 
more  moderate  in  his  expressions  than  most  of  his  fellow  senators 
from  the  Soutli.  The  debate  continued  until  April  8,  wlien  the 
English  bill,  which  provided  for  the  admission  of  Kansas  as  a 
supposed  slave  state  having  passed,  the  opposition  ceased,  and 
Minnesota's  bill  was  adopted  by  a  vote  of  49  to  '-i.  The  bill  then 
went  to  the  House,  where  it  met  tlie  same  kind  of  olijections  as 
had  been  raised  in  the  Senate,  the  English  bill  standing  in  the 
way  until  May  4,  ^vhen  it  Avas  passed.  One  week  later,  May  11, 
the  bill  admitting  Minnesota,  passed  the  House  by  a  vote  of  157 
to  38.  the  following  day  receiving  the  approval  of  the  President, 
and  May  12,  1858,  Minnesota  obtained  full  recognition  as  a  state 
in  the  Union.  Informal  news  of  the  action  of  Congress  reached 
St.  Paul,  by  telegrai)hie  information  brought  from  La  Crosse, 
Wisconsin,  May  13,  but  the  official  notice  was  not  received  \uitil 
some  days  later,  and  May  24  the  state  officers  elected  in  October, 

1858,  took  their  oaths  of  office. 

1857-58 — The  first  state  legislature,  as  already  noted,  assem- 
bled December  2,  1857.  On  March  25.  1858,  it  took  a  recess  until 
June  28,  and  finally  adjourned  August  12.  The  state  was  ad- 
mitted ilay  11,  1S5S.  It  will,  therefore,  be  seen  that,  although 
this  legislature  is  called  the  first  state  legislature,  nevertheless 
it  assembled  in  territorial  times.  By  the  ajiportionmeut  of  1857 
set  forth  in  tlie  state  constitution  adopted 'October  13,  1857,  Sib- 
ley, Renville  and  McLeod  counties  constituted  the  Eighteenth 
district  with  one  senator  and  tln-ee  representatives.  The 
Eiglitcenth  district  was  represented  in  the  senate  by  Elijah  T. 
Mixer.  John  H.  Stevens,  Michael  Cunnniiigs  and  Henr.y  Poehler 
sat  in  the  house. 

1858-59 — No  session  was  held  in  the  winter  of  1858-59,  mainly 
owing  to  the  protracted  session  of  1857-58,  which  was  believed 
to  render  unnecessary  another  one  following  so  soon,  the  legis- 
lature of  that  year  having  so  provided  by  enactment. 

1859-60 — The  second  state  legislature  assembled  December  7, 

1859,  and  adjourned  March  12,  1860.  The  Eighteenth  district 
was  represented  in  the  senate  by  John  H.  Stevens  and  in  the 
house  by  Peter  Wilkins,  Mathew  Donohue,  and  Hamilton  Beatty. 

By  the  apportionment  of  1860  Renville  county  was  placed 
in  the  Nineteenth  district,  which  was  to  have  one  senator  and  two 
representatives.  The  other  counties  in  the  district  were  Nicollet, 
Sibley,  Brown,  Pierce,  Davis  counties  west  of  range  33. 

1861 — The  third  state  legislature  assembled  January  8  and  ad- 
journed March  8.    The  Nineteenth  district  was  represented  in  the 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  271 

senate  by  James  W.  Lindo  luui  tin-  liouse  by  M.  G.  Hanscoino  and 
E:  E.  Paulding. 

1862— The  fourth  state  legislature  assembled  January  7  and 
adjournfd  :\Ianli  4.  The  Nineteenth  district  was  represented  in 
the  senate  by  Henry  A.  Swift  and  in  the  house  by  "S\.  J.  Severance 
and  Adam  Buek,  Jr. 

On  account  of  the  Indian  outbi'eak  in  1862,  an  extra  session 
was  called  by  the  governor.  It  assend)led  S<'[)tember  9  and  ad- 
journed September  29.  The  oflieers  and  members  were  the  same 
as  at  the  regular  session,  except  that  1;.  K.  Asker,  fromthe  Ninth 
district,  was  not  present  at  tlie  reguhir  session,  but  presented 
his  credentials  to  the  second  session. 

1863 — The  fifth  state  legislature  assembled  .iaiuiary  (i  ami  ad- 
journed ]\Iarch  6.  The  Nineteenth  di.strict  was  j-epresented  in 
the  senate  by  Henry  A.  Swift  and  in  the  house  by  William  Huey 
and  W.  Tennant. 

1864 — The  sixth  state  legislatiu'e  assembled  January  .'>,  and 
adjourned  March  5.  The  Ninetei-nth  district  was  represented  in 
the  senate  by  Henry  A.  Swift  and  in  the  house  by  Samuel  Coffin 
and  William  Huey. 

1865 — The  seventh  state  legislature  assembled  January  3  and 
adjourned  March  3.  The  Nineteenth  district  was  represented  in 
the  senate  by  Henry  A.  Swift  and  in  the  house  by  Hamilton  Beatty 
and  Henry  Poehler. 

1866 — The  eighth  state  legislature  assembled  January  2  and 
adjourned  March  2.  The  Nineteenth  district  was  represented  in 
the  senate  by  Charles  T.  Brown  and  in  the  house  by  Thomas 
Russell  and  J.  S.  G.  Honner. 

By  the  apportioinnent  of  1866  Redwood  county  was  added  to 
the  Nineteenth  district.  It  was  to  be  represented  by  one  senator 
and  two  representatives. 

1867 — The  ninth  state  legislat)n-e  assembled  Jaiuiai'v  8  ami  ad- 
journed March  8.  The  Nineteenth  district  was  I'epreseuted  in 
the  senate  by  Adam  Buck  and  in  the  house  by  Charles  T.  Brown 
and  D.  G.  Shillock. 

1868 — The  tenth   state   legislatui'e   assendjled    January-    7   and 

adjoin- 1  .March  (i.     The  Nineteenth  district  was  represented  in 

the  senate  by  Charles  T.  Brown  and  in  the  house  ti\  John  C,  T?ii- 
dolph  and  Adam  Biu-k. 

1869 — The  eleventh  state  legislature  assembled  January  5  and 
adjoui'ned  IMarch  5.  The  Nineteenth  district  was  I'cpresented  in 
the  senate  by  Charles  T.  Brown  and  in  the  house  by  J.  C.  Rudolph 
and  J.  C.  Stoever. 

1870 — The  twelfth  state  legislature  assembled  .January  4  and 
adjourned  March  3.  The  Nineteenth  district  was  represented  in 
the  senate  by  William  Pfaender  and  in  the  house  by  William  L. 
Couplin  and  P.  IT.  Swift. 


272  HISTORY  OF  RE^•^•1LLE  COUNTY 

1871 — The  thirteenth  state  legislature  assembled  Jauuary  8 
aud  adjourned  March  3.  The  Nineteenth  district  was  repre- 
sented in  the  senate  by  William  Pfaender  and  in  the  house  by 
W.  L.  Couplin  and  J.  S.  G.  Honner. 

By  the  apportionment  of  1871  Kenville  aud  Nicollet  counties 
were  placed  in  the  Thirty-fourth  district  and  were  to  have  one 
senator  and  three  representatives. 

1872 — The  fourteenth  state  legislature  assembled  January  2 
and  adjourned  March  2.  The  Thirty-fourth  district  was  repre- 
sented in  the  senate  by  Marshall  B.  Stone  and  in  the  house  by 
H.  E.  Wadsworth,  Hans  C.  Hanson  and  J.  H.  Dimham. 

1873 — The  fifteenth  state  legislature  assembled  January  7  and 
adjourned  Jlarch  7.  The  Thirty-fourth  district  was  represented 
in  the  senate  by  Marshall  B.  Stone  and  in  tlie  house  by  Francis 
Baasen,  E.  St.  Julien  Cox.  and  David  Benson. 

1874 — The  sixteenth  state  legislature  assembled  January  6  and 
adjourned  March  6.  The  Tliirty-fourth  district  Avas  represented 
in  the  senate  by  E.  St.  Julien  Cox  and  in  the  house  by  John  N. 
Treadwell,  Peter  H.  McDermid  and  David  Benson. 

187.5 — The  seventeenth  state  legislature  assembled  January  5 
and  adjourned  March  5.  The  Thirty-fourth  district  was  repre- 
sented in  the  senate  by  E.  St.  Julien  Cox  and  in  the  house  by 
John  N.  Treadwell,  P.  H.  McDermid  and  David  Benson. 

1876 — The  eighteenth  state  legislature  assembled  January  4 
and  adjourned  March  3.  The  Thirty-fourth  district  was  repre- 
sented in  the  senate  by  J.  T.  Schoenbeek  and  in  the  house  by 
D.  S.  Hall,  Andrew  Nelson  and  Nicholas  Sons. 

1877 — The  nineteenth  state  legislature  assembled  January  2 
and  adjourned  March  2.  The  Thirty-fourth  district  was  repre- 
sented in  the  senate  by  J.  T.  Schoenbeek  and  in  the  house  by 
Isaac  Lundeen,  W.  J.  Bean  and  David  Benson. 

1878 — The  twentieth  state  legislature  assembled  January  8 
and  adjoui-ned  March  8.  The  Thirty-fourth  district  was  repre- 
sented in  the  senate  by  Henry  Ahrens  aud  in  the  house  by 
Sumner  Ladd,  Jacob  Klossner,  Jr.,  and  J.  M.  Bowler. 

Henry  Ahrens  was  born  in  Germany,  August  2,  1835 :  landed 
in  New  York  in  November,  1853,  and  worked  at  his  trade,  lock- 
smith, there  one  year;  farmed  in  Illinois  until  1861.  then  sold  out 
and  settled  in  Renville  county  in  the  spring  of  1862 :  lost  most 
of  his  property  that  year  by  Indians,  and  barely  escaped  with 
his  life;  returned  to  Illinois;  in  1865  came  back  to  this  county 
and  was  elected  its  first  treasurer,  and  held  the  oiSee  six  years, 
besides  farming  extensively.  In  1873  he  bought  an  interest  in  a 
saw  and  flouring  mill  at  Beaver  Falls.  He  was  a  state  senator, 
1878.     He  was  married  in  Illinois  in  1860. 

1879 — The  twenty-first  state  legislature  assembled  January  7 
and  adjourned  March  7.     The  Thirty-fourth  district  was  repre- 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  273 

sented  in  tlie  senate  by  II.  ('.  ^Miller  ami  in  the  honsi-  V)\-  Kd. 
O'Hara,  C.  Amiindson  and  W.  J.  Bean. 

1881 — The  twenty-second  state  legislature  assembled  Janiiary 
4  and  adjourned  JMarch  4.  The  Thirty-fourth  district  was  repre- 
sented in  the  senate  by  H.  C.  Miller  and  in  tln'  house  by  T.  ]\I. 
Cornish,  C.  Amundson  and  Jacob  Klossner,  Jr. 

An  extra  session  Avas  called  for  the  purpose  of  considering 
the  legislation  at  the  regular  session  relating  to  the  state  rail- 
road bonds,  M-hieh  were  declared  unconstitutional  by  the  supremo 
coiu't.  The  session  commenced  October  11  and  closed  Novem- 
ber 13. 

By  the  apportionment  of  1S81.  Renville  county  for  the  first 
time  constituted  a  separate  district.  It  was  designated  the  Forty- 
.seventh  district  and  was  to  have  one  senatoi-  and  one  representa- 
tive. 

l<S8:i — The  twenty-thii'd  state  legislature  asseud)letl  January  2 
and  adjourned  March  2.  The  Forty-seventh  district  was  repre- 
sented in  the  senate  by  W.  P.  Christensen  and  in  thi>  house  b.v 
Heni-y  Paulson. 

1885 — The  twenty-fourth  state  legislature  assembled  January 
6  and  adjoui-ned  March  6.  The  Forty-seventh  district  was  repre- 
sented in  the  senate  by  W.  P.  Christiensen  and  in  the  liouse  by 
Lewis  L.  Tinnes. 

1887 — The  twenty-fifth  state  legislature  assembled  January  4 
and  adjourne<l  ]\Iarch  4.  The  Forty-seventh  di.strict  was  repre- 
sented in  the  senate  by  D.  S.  Ilall  and  in  the  house  by  D.  F. 
Walstrom. 

1889 — The  twenty-sixth  state  legislatui'e  assembh'd  Jaiuiary 
8  and  adjourned  April  23.  The  Forty-seventh  district  was  rep- 
resented in  the  seiuite  by  D.  S.  Hall  and  in  the  house  by  C.  H. 
Davis. 

By  the  apportionment  of  1889  Renville  county  was  i)laced  in 
the  Forty-second  district,  having  the  same  representation  as 
before. 

1891 — The  twenty-seventh  state  legislature  assembled  Januar.v 
6  and  adjourned  April  20.  The  Forty-seeond  district  was  repre- 
sented in  the  senate  by  Ferdinand  Borehert  and  in  the  house 
by  H.  A.  Peterson. 

1893 — The  twent.v-eighth  state  legislature  assembled  January 
3  and  adjourned  April  18.  The  Forty-second  district  was  repre- 
sented in  the  senate  by  Ferdinand  Borehert  and  in  the  house  by 
C.  D.  McEwen. 

1895 — The  twenty-nintli  state  legislatni-e  assembled  Jamiary  8 
and  adjourned  Ai)ril  23.  The  Forty-second  district  was  repi-e- 
sented  in  the  senate  by  James  Ilanna  and  in  the  house  by  O.  L. 
Brevig. 

1897 — The  thirtieth  state  legislature  a.ssembled  .lanuary  5  and 


274  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

adjourned  April  21.  The  Forty-second  district  was  represented 
in  the  senate  by  James  Hanua  and  in  the  house  by  J.  A.  Bergley. 

By  the  apportionment  of  1897  Renville  county  became  the 
Twenty-second  district,  to  be  represented  by  one  senator  and  two 
representatives. 

1899 — The  thirty-tirst  state  legislature  assembled  January  3 
and  adjourned  April  18.  The  Twenty-second  district  was  repre- 
sented in  the  senate  by  ('harles  H.  Nixon  and  in  the  house  by 
Gunerus  Peterson  and  A.  Eugene  Kinne. 

1901 — The  thirty-second  state  legislature  assembled  January 
8  and  adjourned  April  12.  The  Twenty-second  district  was  rep- 
sented  in  the  senate  by  Charles  H.  Nixon  and  in  the  house  by 
Gunerus  Peterson  and  M.  J.  Dowling. 

An  extra  session  was  called  for  the  pui-pose  of  considering  the 
report  of  the  tax  commission  created  by  the  act  of  1901.  The 
extra  session  convened  February  4,  1902,  and  adjourned  ilarch 
11,  1902. 

1903 — The  thirty-third  state  legislature  assembled  January  6 
and  adjourned  April  12.  The  Twenty-second  district  was  repre- 
sented in  the  senate  by  A.  V.  Rieke  and  in  the  liouse  by  William 
"Wiehman  and  A.  H.  Anderson. 

1905 — The  thirty-fourth  state  legislature  assembled  January 
7  and  adjourned  April  18.  The  Twenty-second  district  was  rep- 
resented in  the  senate  by  A.  V.  Rieke  and  in  the  house  by  William 
Wiehman  and  0.  T.  Ramsland. 

1907 — The  thirty-fifth  state  legislature  asseiidjled  January  5 
and  adjourned  April  22.  The  TAventy-second  district  was  repre- 
sented in  the  senate  by  D.  S.  Hall  and  in  the  house  by  John  A. 
Dalzell  and  N.  J.  Holmberg. 

1909 — The  thirty-sixth  state  legislature  assembled  January  5 
and  adjourned  April  22.  The  Twenty-second  district  was  repre- 
sented in  the  senate  by  D.  S.  Hall  and  in  the  liouse  by  John  A. 
Dalzell  and  N.  J.  Holmberg. 

1911 — The  thirty-seventh  state  legislature  assembled  January 
6  and  adjourned  April  19.  The  Twenty-second  district  was  rep- 
resented in  the  senate  by  Frank  Min-ray  and  in  the  house  by  N.  J. 
Holmberg  and  Prank  Hopkins. 

An  extra  session  was  called  for  the  purpose  of  enacting  a  state- 
wide direct  primary  law  applicable  to  all  state  officers,  a  corrupt 
practices  act  and  a  reapportionment  law.  The  extra  session  con- 
vened June  4,  1912  and  adjourned  June  18,  1912. 

1913 — The  thirty-eighth  state  legislature  assembled  January  7 
and  adjourned  April  24.  The  Twenty-second  district  was  repre- 
sented in  the  senate  by  Frank  Murray  and  in  the  house  by  Frank 
Hopkins  and  N.  J.  Holmberg. 

At  several  successive  sessions  of  the  legislature  prior  to  that 
of  1913  attempts  had  been  made  to  secure  a  new  apportionment. 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  275 

Tile  last  had  been  in  1897  and  a  great  change  in  tlie  population 
had  taken  place  in  the  meantime — the  northern  part  of  the  state 
having  increased  while  in  the  sontherii  part  the  gain  had  been 
slight,  in  some  counties  an  actual  loss  having  taken  place.  At 
the  1913  session,  after  a  protracted  struggle,  a  compromise  bill 
was  agreed  npon,  by  which  the  number  of  senators  was  increased 
to  sixty-seven,  and  the  number  of  representatives  to  130,  although 
the  legislature  was  already  one  of  the  largest  in  the  United  States 
and  altogether  out  of  proportion  to  the  population.  By  this 
apportionment  Renville  county  was  designated  the  Twenty-third 
district,  with  one  senator  and  one  representative. 

1915 — The  thirty-ninth  legislature  assembled  January  4  and 
adjourned  April  22.  The  Twenty-third  district  was  represented 
in  the  senate  by  N.  J.  Holmberg  and  in  the  house  by  Carl  F. 
Neitzel. 

CONGRESSIONAL    REPRESENTATION. 

Renville  county  has  been  represented  in  congress  since  I\Iinne- 
sota  became  a  state,  as  follows:  W.  W.  Phelps,  Democrat  (Good- 
hue county).  May  12,  1858  to  March  4,  1859;  Cyrus  Aldrich, 
Republican  (Hennepin  county),  March  4,  1859  to  March  4,  1863; 
Ignatius  Donnelly,  Republican  (Dakota  county),  March  4,  1863 
to  March  4,  1869;  Eugene  M.  Wilson,  Democrat  (Hennepin 
county),  March  4,  1869  to  March  4,  1871 ;  John  T.  Averill,  Repub- 
lican (Ramsey  county),  March  4,  1871  to  March  4,  1875; 
H.  B.  Strait,  Republican,  March  4,  1873  to  March  4,  1879 ;  Henry 
Poehler.  Democrat,  March  4,  1879  to  March  4,  1881 :  H.  B.  Strait, 
Republican,  IMareh  4.  1881  to  March  4,  1887;  John  L.  McDonald, 
Democrat,  March  4,  1887  to  :\larch  4,  1889;  Darwin  S.  Hall, 
Republican,  :\larch  4.  1889  to  March  4.  1891;  O.  M.  Hall,  Demo- 
crat, March  4,  1891  to  March  4,  1895:  Joel  P.  Ileatwole,  Repub- 
lican, March  4,  1895  to  Mai-ch  4,  1903;  Andrew  J.  Volstead, 
Republican,  March  4,  1903  to  March  4,  1917. 

By  the  apportioniiuMit  of  1872  the  state  was  divided  into  three 
congressional  districts,  lieiiville  county  M'as  constituted  the 
Second  district,  with  Wabasha,  (toodhue.  Rice,  Dakota,  Scott, 
Le  Sueur,  Nicollet,  Kandiyohi,  Brown,  Sibley,  Carver,  McLeod, 
Redwood,  Lyon,  Swift  and  ("hippewa. 

The  ajiportionment  of  1S(S1  divided  the  state  into  five  districts. 
Renville  comity  was  in  the  Third  disti-ict,  with  Goodliue,  Rice, 
Dakota,  Scott,  Carver,  Meljeod,  Meeker,  Kandiyohi,  Swift  and 
Chippewa. 

The  next  apportioiinieiit,  that  of  LSiil.  increased  the  number 
of  congressional  districts  to  seven.  Renville  county  was  still  in 
the  Third  district,  with  (^arver,  Dakota,  Goodhue,  Le  Sueur, 
McLeod,  Meeker,  Rice,  Scott  and  Sibley. 

In  1901  the  state  was  divided  into  nine  congressional  districts. 


276  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

Renville  coiiuty  ^vas  placed  in  the  Seventh  distriet.  with  Biar 
Stone,  Chippewa.  Grant,  Kandiyohi,  Lae  qui  Parle,  Lincoln,  Lyon, 
Pope.  Redwood,  Stevens,  Swift,  Traverse  and  Yellow  .Medicine. 

The  federal  census  of  1910  gave  Minnesota  an  additional  mem- 
ber of  Congress,  who  was  elected  at  large  at  the  election  held 
November  4.  1912. 

Li  1913  the  state  was  diviiled  into  ten  districts.  Renville 
county  was  retained  in  the  Seventh  district,  with  Grant,  Douglas, 
Traverse.  Stevens,  Pope,  Big  Stone,  Swift,  Lac  qui  Parle,  Ciiip- 
pewa,  Yellow  Medicine,  Kandiyohi,  ]\Ieeker  and  Lyon. 

L'ntil  ^Minnesota  became  a  state  it  liad  only  one  representative 
in  congress,  a  territoi'ia!  delegate,  who  was  not  allowed  to  vote. 
The  first  teri'itorial  delegate  from  ^Minnesota  was  Henry  H.  Sib- 
ley, who  was  first  sent  ostensibly  as  a  delegate  from  the  territory 
of  Wisconsin,  though  living  on  the  present  site  of  ]\Iendota.  at 
the  mouth  of  the  ^linnesota  river.  He  sat  as  a  territoi-ial  delegate 
from  Januaiy  la.  1849.  to  INIareh  4,  1853.  He  was  succeeded  by 
Heni'y  M.  Rice,  who  served  fi-om  December  5,  1853,  to  IMarch  4, 
1857.  W.  W.  Kingsbury  was  elected  to  succeed  him  and  served 
from  December  7,  1857,  to  jMarch  3,  1859.  As  has  been  noted,  the 
United  States  senate,  Februai'y  23.  1857,  passed  an  act  authoriz- 
ing the  people  of  ]\Iinnesota  to  form  a  constitution  i)reparatory  to 
their  admission  to  the  Union.  In  accordance  with  the  provisions 
of  this  enabling  act,  a  constitutional  convention  was  held  -Inly  13, 
1857,  at  the  territorial  capital.  Octol)er  13.  1857,  an  eh'ctinn  was 
heUl,  when  the  constitution  was  adopted  and  a  full  list  of  state 
officers  elected.  Three  congressmen  were  also  elected  at  this  time, 
George  L.  Becker,  W.  W.  Phelps  and  J.  ^I.  Cavanaugh.  But  it 
was  afterwards  foiuid  that  Minnesota  was  entitled  to  oidy  two 
congressmen  and  the  matter  was  amicably  ad.pisted  by  the  with- 
drawal of  'Sir.  Becker.  By  this  election  the  Messrs.  Phelps  and 
Cavanaugh  became  the  first  meinliers  of  congi'css  from  the  state 
of  Minnesota. 

For  a  time  the  two  congressmen  were  elected  "at  large."" 
though  in  oi-der  to  comply  with  constitutional  i-equir-ements  there 
was  a  nominal  division  of  the  state  into  two  districts,  one  being 
said  to  represent  the  noi'thern  disti'ict  and  the  other  the  southei'n 
district. 


HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY  277 

CHAPTER  XVTir. 
CREATION  OF  TOWNSHIPS. 

Various  Acts  of  the  County  Commissioners  by  Which  the  Town- 
ships of  Renville  County  Have  Assumed  Their  Present  Boun- 
daries— Dates  of  First  Elections. 

Tile  towji.ships  m  Renville  eoiuity  have  luulergoiie  many 
changes  in  names  and  the  boundaries  have  been  many  times  read- 
ju.sted.  These  changes  make  an  interesting  subject  of  study. 
Even  the  commissioners'  records  are  vague  as  to  some  of  the  early 
boundaries  and  the  following  information  has  been  gleaned  only 
after  long  research  and  consultation. 

Bandon.  -lanuary  4,  1871,  township  ILi.  range  :!:!,  wliicli  since 
April  2, 1867,  had  been  a  part  of  Camp,  was  set  off  with  its  present 
nMiiie  and  boundaries. 

Beaver  Falls.  As  organized  April  2,  1867,  Beaver  included 
all  of  113,  range  35,  north  of  the  Minnesota  rivei',  and  town- 
ships 114.  115,  116.  range  .'^5.  This  embraced  the  present  town- 
ships of  Beaver  Falls,  Ileuryville,  Troy  and  Winfield.  Charles 
R.  Eldridge,  James  Butler  and  Henry  Ahrens  were  appointed 
judges  of  the  election  to  be  held  at  the  store  of  C.  Prignitz. 
March  16,  1871,  the  township  of  Heuryville,  114,  35,  was  created. 
By  the  general  act  of  1875,  township  116,  range  35  (Winfield) 
and  township  115,  35  (Troy)  were  attached  to  Ilenryville,  leav- 
ing Beaver  Falls  with  its  present  boundaries.  There  is  no  record 
of  the  change  of  name  from  Beaver  to  Beaver  Palls  and  the  official 
title  is  still  Beaver  though  even  in  the  tax  li.sts  it  is  called  licaver 
Falls. 

Birch  Cooley.  As  organized  April  2,  1867,  Birch  Cooley 
included  all  townshii)  112,  34,  north  of  the  Minnesota  river  and 
townships  113,  114,  115  and  116,  range  34.  This  embraces  the 
present  townships  of  Birch  Cooley,  Norfolk,  Bird  Island  and 
Kingman.  George  Bowers,  H.  J.  Whichter  and  Lorenz  Brazil,  Sr., 
were  appointed  judges  of  the  election  to  be  held  at  the  home  of 
Joseph  Preston.  Township  114,  range  34,  now  Norfolk,  Avas  set 
off  as  Iloulton,  July  26,  1869.  July  29,  1874,  townships  115  and 
116,  range  34,  were  attached  to  the  town  of  Marschner,  now 
Norfolk,  leaving  Birch  Cooley  with  its  present  boundaries. 

Bird  Island.  A  petition  signed  by  George  II.  Megquier  and 
others  was  presented  to  the  board  July  27,  1876,  asking  that  town- 
ship 115,  range  34,  be  organized  as  Melville.  The  petition  was 
granted  and  an  election  ordered  to  be  held  at  the  home  of  N.  G. 
Poor,  August  15,  1876.  A  petition  signed  by  J.  S.  Bowler  and 
others  was  presented  to  the  board  October  2,  1876,  asking  that 
townships  115  and  116,  range  34,  be  constituted  as  Bird   Island 


278  HISTORY  OF  RENVILLE  COUNTY 

towjiship.  The  petition  was  grauted  and  an  election  ordered  to 
be  held  at  the  home  of  Joseph  Feeter,  October  21'  1876.  Septem- 
ber 3,  1878,  township  116,  range  34,  was  organized  as  Kingman 
township,  leaving  Bird  Island  township  with  its  present  bonn- 
daries. 

Boon  Lake.  Township  116.  31,  had  been  a  part  of  Cairo 
since  July  6,  1869.  It  had  been  a  part  of  Preston  Lake  since 
September  7,  1869.  September  6.  1870,  township  116,  ranges  31 
and  32,  now  Boon  Lake  and  Brookfield,  were  organized  as  Boon 
Lake.  In  1874,  township  116,  range  32,  was  organized  as  Brook- 
field,  leaving  Boon  Lake  with  its  present  bovnidaries. 

Brookfield.  July  6,  1869,  townsliip  116,  32,  was  included  iu 
Cairo  township.  On  March  19,  1870,  township  116,  32,  was 
declared  to  be  a  part  of  Cosmos  (117,  32).     The  same  township, 

116,  32,  was  on  September  6,  1870,  organized  as  a  part  of  Boon 
Lake  and  four  years  later  a  petition  was  presented  asking  that 
township  116,  32,  be  created  as  Brookfield.  An  election  was 
ordered  at  the  home  of  Charles  Foster  April  7.  1874. 

Cairo.  July  8,  1869.  the  name  of  Mud  Lake,  created  April  2, 
1867,  and  consisting  of  townships,  112,  113,  114,  range  32,  was 
changed  to  Cairo.  To  it  was  added  townships  115,  116  and  117, 
range  31,  and  townships  115,  116  and  117,  32.  Thus  ('airo  then 
consisted  of  the  present  towns  of  fJairo,  Wellington,  Martinsburg, 
Hector,  Brookfield,  Boon  Lake,  Preston  and  two  not  now  in  the 
county.  Boon  Lake  and  Preston  Lake  were  cut  off  September  7, 
1869,  and  organized  as  Preston  Lake.    January  4,  1870,  townships 

117,  ranges  31  and  32,  not  now  in  the  county,  were  cut  oft'  from 
Cairo  and  organized  as  townships.  March  19,  1870,  town  116, 
range  32,  now  Brookfield,  was  declared  to  be  a  part  of  Cosmos 
(117.  32).  Township  115,  I'ange  32,  now  Hector,  was  cut  oft'  as 
Milford,  Api-il  7,  1874. 

Camp.  As  organized  April  2,  1867,  Camp  inehuled  townships 
112,  33,  north  of  the  ]\Iiin]esota  river,  and  townships  113,  114, 
115,  116,  range  33.  This  embraced  the  jn-esent  townships  of  Camp, 
Bandon,  Palmyra,  Melville  and  Osceola.  Henry  Graft',  Halleck 
Peterson  and  John  Anderson  were  appointed  judges  of  the  elec- 
tion to  be  held  at  the  home  of  Henry  Graft*.  This  town  having 
failed  to  hold  an  election,  Halleck  Peterson  on  May  21,  1867.  was 
appointed  assessor.  He  also  seems  to  have  served  in  Mud  Lake 
township.  January  4,  1871,  Bandon  (113,  33)  was  set  oft'. 
January  2,  1872,  townships  114,  115,  116,  range  33,  was  set  off 
as  Palmyra,  thus  leaving  Camp  with  its  present  boundaries. 

Crooks.  A  petition  was  presented  to  the  board  in  November, 
1884,  praying  for  the  organization  of  township  116,  range  36,  as 
Aurora.  The  petition  was  granted  and  the  election  ordered  to 
be  held  at  the  school  house,  December  9,  1884.  In  ]\Iarch,  1885, 
llie  board  was  notified  liy  the  state  auditor  that  another  township 


THY.  NEVs'   ynrjK 
iPUSLiC   LIBRARY 


ASTOR,    LENOX   <ND    , 
JTILDEN     'OUNrjAriONsJ 


HISTORY  OF  RENXILLE  COUNTY  279 

iu  the  statu  had  been  given  the  name  Aurora,  therefore  named 
it  Crooks.  Crooks  had  been  a  part  of  Flora  since  April  2,  1867, 
and  a  part  of  Emmet,  under  the  general  act,  since  1875. 

Emmet.  Emmet,  consisting  of  township  115,  36,  was  organ- 
ized September  7,  1870,  from  territory  \vhich  had  previously  been 
a  part  of  Flora  since  April  2,  1867.  From  1875  to  November, 
1884,  Crooks  (116,  36)  was  attached  to  Emmet  under  the  general 
act  of  1875. 

Ericson.  Township  116.  range  37,  had  been  a  part  of  Hawk 
Creek  since  April  2,  1867  with  the  exception  of  a  short  period 
between  May  18,  1868,  and  July  7,  1868,  when  it  liad  been  a  part 
of  Flora.  On  January  6,  1874,  a  petition,  presented  by  the  citi- 
zens of  the  township,  was  granted  and  January  27,  1874,  was 
appointed  as  election  day. 

Flora.  As  organized  April  2,  1867,  Flora  included  all  of  113, 
36,  and  114.  36,  north  of  the  ]\Iinnesota  river,  and  townships  115 
and  116,  range  36.  This  embraced  the  present  township  of  Flora, 
Emmet  and  Crooks.  H.  Ames,  James  Graves  and  J.  Gaffney  were 
appointed  judges  of  the  election  to  be  held  at  the  home  of 
J.  Gaffney.  May  18,  1868,  all  that  part  of  the  county  west  of 
range  36  was  attached  to  Flora,  but  this  action  was  rescinded 
.July  17,  1868.  Ennnet  (115,  36)  was  cut  off  with  its  present 
boundaries  September  7,  1870.  Crooks